If you want to get a feel for the culture of UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, look no further than its four Defining Leadership Principles (DLPs): Question the Status Quo, Confidence Without Attitude, Students Always, and Beyond Yourself.
Introduced eight years ago, the DLPs have become a part of the fabric of the school. In fact, 75 percent of students from all three MBA programs and the undergraduate program cite them as a major reason they chose to attend. Not only that, 90 percent of Haas alumni surveyed from the past decade report being familiar with them and using them to navigate both their professional and personal lives. Earlier this month, as part of Haas Culture Day, the school celebrated the DLPs’ eighth birthday, complete with cupcakes.
In an interview with the Haas Newsroom, Dean Rich Lyons talked about the impact the principles he helped introduce have had on the school. “I’d say that we are seeing stronger data every year that the DLPs are affecting what we really care about. For example, we have clear data on how the Defining Leadership Principles are helping us win yield battles (i.e., when students choose Haas over other schools they’ve been admitted to). The DLPs are also motivating our donors. Alumni awareness of the principles is way up, and their engagement based on them is way up.”
To build on these successes, the school has launched a new initiative, the Haas Culture and Leadership Fund, designed to further extend the reach and impact of the DLPs even after Lyons steps down as dean to return to the faculty at the end of this academic year. Among other things, money from the fund will enhance culture-focused content in the curriculum; financial aid, awards, and research support for students and faculty who exemplify the DLPs; and support existing centers and institutes that uphold the principles.
Dean Lyons has a difficult time choosing which DLP most resonates with him. “It has always been hard for me to look at them as anything but a ‘system’ taken all together,” he said. “The one principle that still seems like it sets us apart the most externally versus our top competition is Confidence Without Attitude. But for me personally, the one resonating the most right now is Beyond Yourself. There’s so much in that one that it’s inexhaustible.”
Haas also reached out to its community to find out which DLP they preferred. See what they had to say in the video shared below.