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News & Events

Dean Jain encourages EMBA graduates to cultivate an attitude of ‘active positivism’; Selig urges graduates: 'dare to dream'

By Deborah Leigh Wood

6/1/2004 - It’s not whether you view the glass as half empty or half full that determines the course of your life. Rather, success in life depends on “taking the opportunity to make the glass full,” Kellogg School Dipak C. Jain told the 143 members of the executive MBA program at their graduation June 12 at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall on the Evanston campus.

Classes 56 and 57 in the Executive Master’s Program (Kellogg’s executive MBA) received diplomas upon completion of two years of study while continuing their careers.

“We are all confronted with the fact that things don’t always go the way we planned,” Dean Jain said. “That should lead us to a state of unhappiness and frustration. But by cultivating an attitude of ‘active positivism,’ we can move forward.” He conceded that this state of mind is “difficult but not impossible, to achieve.”

Dean Jain said research shows that leaders with positive attitudes are able to see the big picture, while those who are negative get caught up in minor details.

Keynote speaker Allan “Bud” Selig, current and ninth commissioner of Major League Baseball, spoke in a similar vein.

“I wanted to be the next Joe DiMaggio, but I couldn’t hit a curve ball,” Selig said. So instead, the Milwaukee native and resident turned his love of the game into a four-decade career in baseball management. Highlights of his career as commissioner include settling a 272-day players’ strike in 1994-1995 and overseeing the opening of 14 new stadiums, which led to record-breaking attendance at Major League Baseball games.

Viewing the All-American sport of baseball as a metaphor for life, Selig encouraged the EMP graduates to “dare to dream, sacrifice and accept social responsibility.”