Fall 2016: If I Ruled the World

If you could invent a universal pay system that gave huge financial bonuses for one specific ability or personal attribute, what would you reward?




Jasmine Hu, Management & Organization Assistant Professor: Conscientiousness

Compared with those low on conscientiousness, people who are highly conscientious are organized, persistent, dependable and goal-oriented. Research has consistently shown that across different industries and job levels, highly conscientious people are more likely to achieve higher levels of performance through their careful planning, goal-oriented effort and persistence.

Working with highly conscientious people is a wonderful experience, as they make us feel more inspired, motivated and engaged at work. We know that together we can pursue higher goals.



Dan Hesse (‘75), Former CEO of Sprint: Virtue

The Republic by Plato was the most impactful book I read as a Notre Dame student.  Even though it was written 2,400 years ago, its ideas are timeless.  Our country was founded on some of Plato’s principles.

Plato describes virtue as compromising justice, temperance, courage and intelligence.  Virtuous people pursue truth and knowledge.

Plato argues that we should select only the most virtuous among us to lead.  Imagine how much better our world would be if our business and political leaders were widely respected for their abundant virtue.  What if our presidential election was between the two candidates considered the most virtuous among all of us?



Caitlin Dunn Kelley, (MBA ’18, ’11): (Tactful) Straightforwardness

To be straightforward is to be honest and frank. 

“Finally,” you may be thinking, “I can be rewarded for saying exactly what I think.”

Not so fast. That’s why I’ve qualified it with tactful. Sure, you can tell your coworker he’s wrong in front of a customer, but that might not go over so well in the long run. There’s probably a better way to handle that situation.

So, if I could reward any personal attribute, it would be the ability to tactfully navigate those tricky situations that require straightforwardness.

Easy? No. But it’s good to have goals.