Michael Brenner '67: Building on a vision
In his College of Business Administration Alumni Week keynote address, Michael Brenner '67, discussed how success is built on vision, what "success" means, and how to achieve it. Brenner, who is chief financial officer, executive vice president and a director of The Related Companies, LP, is responsible for overseeing the accounting, treasury, information systems, risk management and human resources divisions of the company.
He defines success as "not necessarily making money… it is the variety of challenges and opportunities you have, whether or not you feel like you're making a contribution in your field, and receiving fair compensation."
His formula for workplace success requires manifesting personal vision through three avenues:
- Thinking: understanding everything that you touch, admitting when you don't understand, try to learn from every situation, having an agenda for every meeting.
- Talking: always being prepared, even if you only ask questions.
- Acting: volunteering to take more responsibility, and doing what you say you are going to do.
If you do these things, Brenner says, "opportunities will present themselves."
He also detailed Related's mission, vision and guiding principles, and emphasized the company's enduring focus on long-term profit over short-term gain.
To hear Brenner's complete talk, including his five guiding principles, please visit the UDMcast page.
Also learn more about Brenner in the Fall 2007 profile.