When I left HBS, there was a controversy over the stealing of an election for the HBS Finance Club. At the time, I thought that it would be a good idea if HBS could retroactively rescind the MBA if someone behaved badly. For example, the MBA could be automatically rescinded if the person in question was convicted of a felony.
Now HBS MBA’s have created the business school student’s equivalent of the Hippocratic Oath.
For my part, I found Warren Buffett, and spent a good part of my life studying him. I susepct that studying Buffett is a good deal more productive. That said, there is nothing wrong with taking the oath as well. A bit like the Lord’s Prayer, there is little in it that any rational human being would disagree with.
I suppose that it does leave me wondering whether these students feel that they had their ethical muscle excercised enough during the 2,000 or so cases that they will have studied over their two years in Cambridge. Perhaps not.
Therefore I promise:
- I will act with utmost integrity and pursue my work in an ethical manner.
- I will safeguard the interests of my shareholders, co-workers, customers and the society in which we operate.
- I will manage my enterprise in good faith, guarding against decisions and behavior that advance my own narrow ambitions but harm the enterprise and the societies it serves.
- I will understand and uphold, both in letter and in spirit, the laws and contracts governing my own conduct and that of my enterprise.
- I will take responsibility for my actions, and I will represent the performance and risks of my enterprise accurately and honestly.
- I will develop both myself and other managers under my supervision so that the profession continues to grow and contribute to the well-being of society.
- I will strive to create sustainable economic, social, and environmental prosperity worldwide.
- I will be accountable to my peers and they will be accountable to me for living by this oath.
This oath I make freely, and upon my honor.
I’m a Zurich-based investor and the author of The Education of a Value Investor, which was published in 2014. Since 1997, I’ve managed a privately offered investment fund known as the Aquamarine Fund. In 2009, I moved from New York to Zurich, Switzerland, where I live with my wife Lory and our three children, Eva, Isaac and Sarah.
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