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Trustee discusses success

Emily Dabish | Friday, October 3, 2008

Cathleen Black, president of Hearst Magazines and a Notre Dame Trustee, gave a lecture at Mendoza College of Business’ Jordan Auditorium as part of the Bergest Lecture Series in Business Ethics. Black has been listed among Fortune magazine’s “50 Most Powerful Women in Business” for seven consecutive years, and she is credited with the success of USA Today.

Black began the lecture by stressing how important it is to have the “360 degree life” – a life not just focused on work because, “happiness is more important to success than success is to happiness.”

“We all have to make our own success … It is what is inside of you, the essence of living life, work, family, friends … Success is not just about work. We need variety and zest for life. We work very hard so why not enjoy it,” she said.

Black concentrated on five key success strategies. An individual should “take risks that are calculated not crazy,” she said, reminding the audience to remember that “the worst case scenario is rarely as bad as you think.”

“There is an upside to failure,” she said. “[Failure can be] a great learning experience …”

Black told of when she moved from New York to San Francisco to take a job for Francis Ford Coppola’s new magazine that ended up tanking several months later.

When she was asked if her radical move had been a mistake, she replied that it hadn’t.

“There is always discovery and disappointment… How can you not benefit from that knowledge?”

She told the audience to never stop in their quest for learning and to be loyal.

“Loyalty is when people can count on you in the good and bad times,” she said.

When making decisions, Black said, it is best to keep ethics in mind.

“The ethical decision is always the right decision,” she said. “It’s about things in business and your own personal life … Ethics are within you; what your parents gave you.”

Black left her audience with a message about achieving their dreams.

“Success is not just about chasing the salary, title and lifestyle, but about what is going to fulfill you,” she said.