Holly Media Attention! (Part I: Bloomberg Business Week)

Bountiful, Utah
June 13, 2011

God's MBAs: Why Mormon Missions Produce Leaders 
We have been told by our prophets that the time has come for the Church to come out of obscurity.Is that time upon us?

For the second time in seven days, a major North American weekly news magazine is taking a close look at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and trying to mesh even more those sometimes-linked alliterative "M" words — Mormons, missionaries and management. (Deseret News)
"The Provo Missionary Training Center (MTC) and its curriculum are designed to render all trainees equal servants of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS), yet many of the men who prepared for their missions here, or at the center's earlier incarnations, have gone on to become among the most distinguished and recognizable faces in American business and civic life."
In the wake of Newsweek's multi-story cover feature titled "Mormons Rock," Bloomberg Business Week tries to make an even more direct link in its piece titled "God's MBAs: Why Mormon Missions Produce Leaders."

The Mormon List

"There's Mitt Romney (mission: France), who as of 2007 had amassed an estimated $190 million to $250 million as head of Bain Capital, rescued the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics from a corruption scandal, spent four years as the governor of Massachusetts, and announced his second run for President on June 2."

"[Romney's potential rival for the Republican nomination is Jon Huntsman Jr. (Taiwan), a former Utah governor who negotiated dozens of free-trade agreements as a U.S. trade representative and served as ambassador to China from 2009-2011."

" The list also includes JetBlue (JBLU) founder David Neeleman (Brazil), Credit Suisse Chief Executive Officer Eric Varvel (who confirmed training at the Provo MTC but would provide no more information), self-help mogul Stephen Covey (England), author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Kim Clark (Germany), former dean of Harvard Business School, and Gary Crittenden (Germany), who's served as CFO for Citigroup (C), American Express (AXP), and Sears Roebuck."

"The Mormon Church is 181 years old, and its adherents compose less than 2 percent of the U.S. population, according to a 2009 American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS). Yet Latter-Day Saints hold, or have held, a seemingly disproportionate number of top jobs at such major corporations as Marriott International (MAR), American Express, American Motors, Dell Computers (DELL), Lufthansa, Fisher-Price (MAT), Life Re, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, Madison Square Garden, La Quinta Properties, PricewaterhouseCooper, and Stanley Black & Decker (SWK). The head of human resources at Citigroup is Mormon, and in 2010 Goldman Sachs (GS) hired 31 grads from BYU, the same number it hired from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School."

"Once on site, missionaries pay a $400 share of their room and board and are required to live as the locals do. "The wonderful thing is that you don't experience Korea from the 25th floor of the Hyatt," says Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen, a Rhodes scholar and board member at India's Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), who did his mission in Korea from 1971 to 1973."

"They don't have air conditioning, you don't have air conditioning; they don't have plumbing, you don't have plumbing."

Mitt Romney
"Mitt Romney served in France from 1966 to 1968, after his freshman year at Stanford University. Widespread anti-American sentiment at the time made proselytizing especially difficult; in a 2007 New York Times article, Romney described his mission as humbling, saying it was the only time in his life "when most of what I was trying to do was rejected."

"As the son of George Romney, the ex-American Motors CEO who was then governor of Michigan, Mitt Romney enjoyed privileges unheard of for most elders and entered the mission field of Bordeaux and Paris having completed three years of French at Michigan's elite Cranbrook School."

"Once on site, Romney broke handbook rules to sneak out to the movies and eat coq au vin, and used his father's connections to arrange a meal at the American Embassy, according to the Times."
"According to The Washington Post, he also pitched articles about Mormons to newspapers and even tried proselytizing at bars."

"Romney's mission was marred by tragedy. On June 16, 1968, he was asked to chauffeur the couple presiding over the region's missionaries and was at the wheel during a head-on collision that killed the mission president's wife. Romney was left unconscious and so badly mangled that a police officer mistakenly pronounced him dead. He was rushed to the hospital and found to have a concussion, fractured ribs, and a broken arm."

"When the mission president returned to the U.S. to bury his wife, Romney was asked to take charge of the region's missionaries, who numbered around 200. He thrived in the position, traveling across France to lead conferences. Under his leadership, France's missionaries exceeded 200 baptisms for the first time in a decade."

Dave Checketts is chairman of the sports, entertainment, and media enterprise SCP Worldwide, the owner of the St. Louis Blues, and a Mormon whose past titles have included CEO of Madison Square Garden. Checketts served his mission in East Los Angeles..."

Returned Missionarties
"In witnessing extreme poverty and wealth, Checketts says he understood that he needed to take responsibility for his future. Upon returning to college, he shot to the top of his class and later became president of the National Basketball Assn.'s Utah Jazz at the age of 28."

"What happens on a mission is that you grow up pretty fast," he says. "You're dealing with adult problems and adult issues, because when you're teaching somebody the gospel of Jesus Christ, you're typically meeting people who want to improve their lives ... and you kind of get a sense for how you'd like to live your life; you get serious about life, about school, about work."

"Kevin Rollins, the former CEO of Dell Computers and currently a senior adviser to TPG Capital, says the rejections spiked with occasional successes that he experienced during his mission in Alberta and Saskatchewan, Canada, prepared him for entrepreneurship."

"When you get into the business world, most of what you try doesn't work either," he says. "And so the notion of having focus and determination, working hard, and leading others along with you, those principles are all things you would look for in a corporate executive, vs. someone who closes his tent after one little disappointment."

Brigham Young University
"Most high-ranking business schools are located in major urban centers; BYU has Provo, a city of roughly 100,000, laid out on a grid of colossal six-lane streets built up into a maze of housing developments, hotels, and fast-food chains. Still, Dean Cornia says, "[Wall Street finds] it interesting enough to continue to hire. If we weren't producing, I don't think we'd end up there."

"BYU's undergraduate business program ranked 11th last year, just behind Georgetown University, according to Bloomberg Businessweek's annual rankings. BYU ranks No. 1 for invention disclosures, new patent applications, and startup companies spun out per every $1 million of research expenditure, according to the Association of University Technology Managers."

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