(Joyce) #1



t (^) le
ss^ is
through complex decisions with different constituencies. I would go and visit each
freshman dorm every year, and just have a sit-down, and have a discussion. I’d
start by saying a little bit about my background and my educational experience,
and then respond to whatever questions students had, and talk about how we
think about these problems. The one thing I generally push back about is that it is
not the job of the university to take a position on various political issues. I can’t, as
the leader of the institution, speak out on a topic on which there are a diversity of
o p i n i o n s w it h i n t h e u n i v e r s it y c o m mu n it y, u n l e s s it ’s g e r m a n e t o o u r v e r y e x i s t e n c e.
We spoke up about the DREAM Act, because we had Stanford students who were
Dreamers. Fossil fuel divestment is a good example, because it doesn’t solve the
problem. We made a decision to divest from coal, because our view was that coal
is extremely damaging, and it’s no longer necessary. But it’s a tricky territory.
S+B: CEOs appear to be terrified of millennials, who are now the single
biggest cohort in the workforce. They seem to have a different set of attitudes
about capitalism, about work, and about what they expect from work. Based on
what you’ve seen of kids coming through college in the past few decades, do
managers need a fundamentally different approach?
HENNESSY: I think they [millennials] are fundamentally good people. They care
deeply about these problems. I think they have a sense of impatience, but a sense
that has not grown out of unreasonableness. It’s grown because we’ve conveniently
ignored various things, whether it’s the growth of inequality, or climate change
issues, or a criminal justice system that needs reform. What we need to do is figure
out how to put that energy and activism and willingness to fight for something
together with a little bit of wisdom that comes from experience, and try to merge
the two. So that’s what we do at Knight–Hennessy; we bring in these brilliant
young people, committed to leadership as service, committed to making a difference
in the world. We try to bring them together with people who’ve made positive
change in the world, and help them learn something about wisdom and patience.

Free download pdf