Mormons make good business leaders. An ethic of hard work, some say. A team mentality.
These may be true, yet there are other values that underpin Mormon leadership even more deeply — and they’re the same ones espoused by Harvard Business School.
I am Clayton M. Christensen and I am fortunate to have been one of a number of Mormons who studied at the Harvard Business School (HBS) in the 1970s. The group includes Mitt Romney, of course. But it also includes Kim Clark, former dean of HBS. Now as president of Brigham Young University-Idaho, he is possibly the most innovative executive in higher education. Joel Peterson, chairman of JetBlue, is another — as is Neil Anderson, one of the Twelve Apostles who lead our church today.
This is a group that has achieved remarkable things professionally, even as their faith in Jesus Christ has grown stronger. Despite some research showing that as one’s education increases, religious participation tends to decrease — and despite the lack of discussions about faith within the business community at large — there is proof that we don’t need to be caught in a trade-off between professional and religious pursuits.
There is something about the LDS Church that is helping these people become even more influential executives in business and leaders in society.