By focusing on values and leadership, Wilmette father of five Harry Kraemer quickly rose through the management ranks of Baxter International to ultimately serve as Chairman and CEO. He retired from Baxter ten years ago, at age 49, to become a Managing Partner at private equity firm Madison Dearborn Partners and also a professor at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Business, where he teaches growing numbers of MBA students each quarter about values-based leadership.
His life’s example and his lectures so inspire the Kellogg students, that they convinced Kraemer to write “From Values To Action – The Four Principles of Values-Based Leadership.” Kraemer funnels all proceeds from the book, related lectures and seminars to the nonprofit One Acre Fund. The fund was founded by his ’06 Kellogg student Andrew Youn. It’s mission is to help African subsistence farmers lift themselves out of poverty and hunger.
Kraemer’s message and One Acre Fund relationship has created a powerful virtuous circle of successful human development. He lives his life focusing on the values and activities about which he is most passionate. This influences future leaders and grows a successful nonprofit model. This success further grows Kraemer’s influence, producing additional opportunities for Kraemer to share his values-based message. It’s a win for Kraemer and a win for those who learn from him. It’s a win for the world.
In brief, Kraemer’s four most essential principles for aspiring leaders are:
Self-Reflection – “The ability to reflect and identify what you stand for, what your values are, and what matters most.”
Balance – “The ability to see situations from multiple perspectives, including differing viewpoints, to gain a holistic understanding.”
True Self-Confidence – “More than mastery of certain skills, [it] enables you to accept yourself as you are, recognizing your strengths and your weaknesses, and focusing on continuous improvement.”
Genuine Humility – “The ability to never forget who you are, to appreciate the value of each person in the organization, and to treat everyone respectfully.”
To help promote a CrowdRise online fundraiser The Social Entrepreneur’s Challenge hosted by the Skull Foundation for the One Acre Fund,