"Professor of practice" visits leadership class
RELEASED: Jan. 25, 2007
DANVILLE, KY—The students in Centre President John Roush's CentreTerm class "Rainmaking: Study of and Preparation for Leadership" spent the past month learning what it takes to be an effective leader. During the term, as part of a series of guest lectures, the class had the opportunity to meet Peter Willmott, chairman and chief executive of Willmott Services Inc., a consulting company in Chicago.
"The course allows students to become familiar with the literature associated with leadership studies," Roush says. "Having 'professor of practice' Peter Willmott as a guest speaker provided an opportunity for these future leaders to be exposed to an extremely successful leader, both in business and service."
Willmott, beginning his class lecture by pointing out the Centre necktie he was wearing, described his "close ties" to Centre—his daughter Sarah Willmott Cowens '86 and son-in-law Thomas Cowens '85. He emphasized to the class the importance of deciding to come to Centre as the first step in becoming an effective leader.
Willmott began his career as a senior financial analyst at American Airlines and then spent four years as a management consultant at Booz, Allen & Hamilton. He then joined ITT Continental Baking Company where he was a vice president, before moving to Federal Express Corporation, where he served as chief financial officer and later as president and chief operating officer. He also worked as chairman and president of Carson Pirie Scott and of Zenith Electronics Corporation. A former chairman of the Board of Trustees at Williams College, Peter received his B.A. from Williams College and his M.B.A. from Harvard University.
Touching on vision, strategy, communication, people skills, integrity and energy, Willmott explained the qualities that are required of a good leader.
Callie Adkisson '07 of Vine Grove, Ky., says that Mr. Willmott showed the kind of applied knowledge Centre students need.
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