In a full-page ad in the December 6th issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education, Babson College announced that it would use a $50 million gift to establish the Arthur M. Blank School for Entrepreneurial Leadership on its Wellesley, Massachusetts campus. The founding principles for the School will be the six core values espoused by Mr. Blank, a Babson graduate:
— Put People First
— Listen and Respond
— Include Everyone
— Innovate Continuously
— Lead by Example
— Give Back to Others
Enter Bentley University, Babson’s fierce rival located just seven miles up the road in Waltham, Massachusetts. Bentley’s response? In September 2020 it will launch the Bernie Madoff Institute for Business Excellence, which will offer both undergraduate and graduate degrees. Delivering a sharp slap in the face to the Blank School, the Madoff Institute has developed a half-dozen core values of its own. To wit:
— Profits matter. People do too, but not as much. Not nearly as much. For the love of God, are you serious about making money or not?
— When you choose to listen to people, all you end up hearing is a bunch of crap. Talk more. And talk loud.
— Including everyone takes a lot of time, and you don’t have a lot of time. Keep just about everybody out of the loop, including your family. Soliciting other people’s opinions will only hold you back from achieving the destiny you deserve.
— Innovation is indeed crucial. If a week goes by and you haven’t developed a new Ponzi scheme, you’re not doing your job.
— Being a “role model” or “leading by example” is a game for losers who believe that high visibility is an adequate substitute for stealth, deception, and the occasional well-placed stiletto when accomplishing tasks. Stay in the shadows, make things happen, and be sure to wipe down that dagger with a damp cloth before tossing it in the pond.
— Sure, you can give back to others. But why in the f**k would you want to do that? This is a business school, not a convent. Here’s the phone number for Doctors Without Borders. Have a good life.
In a press conference devoted to the Madoff Institute, Bentley President Alison Davis-Blake proclaimed that “our graduates will be prepared to crush those Babson wusses in the blood-soaked arena of entrepreneurial competition. We’re sledgehammers, and they’re overripe tomatoes. Bring. It. On.”
Dr. Davis-Blake wore a black bandana around her forehead, tied at the back, and her cheeks were adorned with tattooed crimson thunderbolts. She delivered her comments from a steel cage used for Ultimate Fighting Championship matches.
Bring it on, indeed.