Former Jesuit applies 450-year-old principles to today's business

Author and J.P. Morgan executive Chris Lowney to speak to Greater Cincinnati community on Feb. 16 | February 1, 2005

J.P. Morgan executive and former Jesuit Chris Lowney argues that the same principles that inspired 16th-century Jesuits are applicable to today's corporate business models. And the fact that founder St. Ignatius Loyola turned a 10-man operation into a 21,000-strong order, helps prove his point. On Wednesday, Feb. 16, Lowney shared his insight at the Cintas Center.

In his book, Heroic Leadership: Best Practices from a 450-Year-Old Company that Changed the World, Lowney details how the Jesuits pioneered a unique leadership formula that resulted in one of history's most successful companies and the world's most extensive higher education systems. The four principles—self-awareness, ingenuity, love and heroism—address a person's personal and professional life and are rooted in the idea that we are all leaders.

“The very last thing the Jesuits would have considered themselves to be was leadership pundits,” Lowney says. “Instead of talking about leadership, they lived it.”

Lowney, managing director at J.P. Morgan & Co., has held senior positions in New York, Tokyo, Singapore and London. Prior to joining J.P. Morgan, Lowney was a Jesuit seminarian for seven years. During that time, he taught and studied at Jesuit institutions in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. He is a summa cum laude graduate of Fordham University, where he also received his M.A. and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

Registration for the program began at 11:30 a.m. followed by the program and lunch from noon to 1:30 p.m. University President Michael J. Graham, S.J., and David Mueller, principal of St. Xavier High School gave introductory remarks before Lowney's talk, which was followed by responses from Cincinnati Business Leaders, including Thomas Cody, vice chairman of Federated Department Stores Inc., Michael Connelly, president and CEO of Catholic Healthcare Partners, Janet Reid, principal partner of Global Lead Management Consulting, and Edwin Rigaud, president and CEO of Enova Partners LLC.

The Jesuits of the Chicago Province, along with Xavier University and St. Xavier High School, hosted the Heroic Leadership luncheon, and the event is sponsored by Little, Meyers & Associates and Fifth Third Bank.

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