People over profits

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Future leaders must understand that it isn’t money, but people that make business happen, said Pierre Lassonde, keynote speaker at the David Eccles School of Business’ annual convocation.

Lassonde’s address was part of the Spencer Fox Eccles convocation Sept. 13, which seeks to honor the contributions made to the business school by the Eccles family.

The Spencer Fox Eccles Convocation is an opportunity for students and the community to learn and be inspired by extraordinary business leaders, said University of Utah President Michael Young.

“This convocation allows us to celebrate both the entrepreneurial spirit and the business school,” Young said.

At the convocation, Lassonde emphasized that students must put people first.

“You must invest in people,” said Lassonde, “because it is people that make it happen, and people who make business successful.”

Lassonde, an alumnus of the U, has worked as the president of the Newmont Mining Corporation and is the founder of the New Venture Development Center.

The world changes too rapidly to rely on assumptions and fairytales, Lassonde said, so students need to learn the value of their company and the people who make it possible.

“Don’t be too tough, but smart,” he said. “Part of the success of a business is in knowing when to get off the bus and when to get others off of yours.”

Lassonde also noted that the greatest enjoyment an entrepreneur will have is not making the money, but giving it away.

“Giving money away is twice as fun as making it,” he said.

“The convocation was a good experience that got me motivated just from listening to the speakers,” said Jordan Jensen, a junior in communication.

“Knowing that someone who came from right here at the U can go on to do what only a few can achieve is pretty powerful,” Jensen said.

Kim Peterson

Pierre Lassonde, graduate of the David Eccles School of Business, gives advice on achieving success as an entrepreneur Wednesday in the Utah Museum of Fine Arts Auditorium.