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Former CEO and Chairman of Vanguard Speaks on Leadership During Annual Nerney Leader in Residence Program

Posted on 4/10/2019 11:55:00 AM

“If people work hard, are really creative and really innovative, and are willing to continue to grow, then essentially anything can be overcome,” William McNabb said while speaking at Cabrini. The former Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Vanguard came to campus on Wednesday, April 3, to share his knowledge on leadership while serving as Cabrini's Leader in Residence, participating in the annual forum of the same name, which is sponsored by the Nerney Leadership Institute. 

McNabb spent the early afternoon hours on campus sitting down with small groups of students in the Leadership Living and Learning Community and Cabrini’s Finance Club to answer questions, talk about finding a job after college, and the importance of teamwork. 

McNabb speaks with Finance Club

“Great teams all commit, they all commit to the decision, they share accountability, and they share the results," said McNabb. "In order for a team to be truly high performing, you have to have a level of trust among the team players that people will speak the truth and treat each other with great respect, even though they might disagree." 

Later, students, alumni, faculty, and staff gathered in the Mansion for a networking cocktail reception with McNabb. 

Student speaking with Bill McNabb

Cabrini's 2019 Valedictorian, Anna Russo, also shared her thoughts on leadership before the former Vanguard CEO gave his campus-wide address.

"Find ways to show leadership in the roles you currently hold, no matter how small you think they may be,” said Russo. "Never forget the power you have to make a difference." 

Stephen Highsmith ('88), Cabrini’s Vice President of Institutional Advancement, sat with McNabb and prompted questions for the campus and local community during a "fireside chat.”

"I do think you have to be optimistic because I actually think there is a lot to be optimistic about," said McNabb in regard to the future of the economy and world in general. "It doesn’t mean that you ignore the challenges, but you have to have some level of faith."

Thomas P. Nerney (’77, HON’15) shared his gratitude with the former Vanguard CEO for coming to Cabrini to speak.

"The impact and the message that you've given is so profound, yet simple, and one we really take to heart,” said Nerney. “Thank you for all the preparation you've done in your journey as a leader to be here tonight.”

McNabb joined Vanguard in 1986. In 2008, he became Chief Executive Officer; in 2010, he became Chairman of the Board of Directors and the Board of Trustees. He stepped down as CEO at the end of 2017 and as Chairman at the end of 2018. Earlier in his career, he led each of Vanguard’s client-facing business divisions.

View all the photos from the event here