From Brazil to MIT Professor of Accounting awarded multiple times by his students with teaching awards, Rodrigo is more than an accounting expert and teacher, he is an incredible human leader who cares for his people and students. Listen to the best lessons of life learned in kindergarten, and many other inspiring reflections in this episode!
“Legacy in life has to be the people… Those you touched.”
Prof Rodrigo Verdi joined MIT in 2006 after receiving a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania. He has taught financial accounting to undergraduate, MBA, EMBA, and PhD students over the last 15 years, and has received five teaching awards at MIT and Sloan.
Rodrigo is Senior Editor at the Journal of Accounting Research, and has previously been Editor at The Accounting Review and Associate Editor at Management Science. His research has been published in the premier accounting and finance journals and has also received the Distinguished Contributions and Best Paper Award recognitions by the American Accounting Association.
Outside MIT, Rodrigo has served as head of the Governance Committee on the board of the Cambridge Ellis School over the last three years and as Advisor to the Provost at Unisinos University, a Jesuit university in southern Brazil with more than 30 thousand students.
In every possible way, we are all made up of stories that we accept and acknowledge. These stories shape how we see and define ourselves. Growing up in an immigrant family of 8 adopted children, Gayle Grader was perceived as an outsider. This experience was foundational to who she is today and what she wants to achieve in life; “You can be the outsider and look in” Gayle says. By being the outsider girl, she learned the skill of observation and developed a curiosity in people and society.
In this episode, we discussed the common trait of leaders throughout history; answered complex questions, are we born or made leaders? Talked about optionality and how to mute the noise to find the signal and focus on the legacy we want to leave behind.
How we arrange the plot points of our story into a narrative, can shape who we are; and to know Gayle’s story is to know her philosophy and life’s ultimate purpose: Bringing impact and scale by helping talents unleash their authentic themselves to lead the organization.
“Be fully engaged with who you are…accept the peak and valley of your journey.”
MEET OUR GUESTGayle Grader Executive Coach and Director of Executive Career Development at MIT Sloan.
Gayle Grader is an Executive Career Coach and the Director of Executive Career Development for MIT Sloan. She oversees the Executive Career Development Team and is responsible for setting the programming strategy, delivering career education workshops, and providing one-on-one executive coaching.
Before joining Sloan in 2018, she spent 13 years as a strategy consultant and business coach working with wide-ranging companies from Fortune 500 to start-ups. In her early career, before she took a hiatus to start a family, Gayle worked in consulting, investment banking, asset management, and executive search.
Gayle has a passion for understanding leadership and how great leaders become the people they are; she can be frequently found reading historical and contemporary biographies building up her perspective on what causes some to become those great leaders who go down in history books.