Dr. Buccino, in the center, surrounded by attendees of his presentation.
Scholars of the Buccino Leadership Institute engaged with Dr. Gerald P. Buccino '63 to discuss the top ten leadership characteristics of triumphant executives in every field. Dr. Buccino's background as founder of Buccino & Associates Inc., as well as CFO and CEO of multiple multi-million-dollar companies, including Goldblatt Bros Inc. and Finehost Corporation, recognizes him as a trailblazer in the field of leadership. In addition to his generous endowments to the Buccino Leadership Institute, he mentors students on creating meaningful contributions to society using visionary leadership. According to Dr. Buccino, an empowered leader embodies credibility, courage, temperament, optimism, passion, vision, competency, strength, risk tolerance, and action.
Dr. Buccino highlights credibility as the "foundation of leadership." Leaders must be competent in their craft and motivated to follow through on the commitments they make to their team. They must be honest and use reliability to propel projects forward. Credibility and a shared code of ethics build trust amongst a team and establishes confidence within an organization. In conjunction with numerous professional studies, Dr. Buccino's own experiences demonstrate that trusted organizations outperform all others.
Dr. Gerald P. Buccino
Following Dr. Buccino's top-ten, the Institute strives to develop well-rounded and distinguished leaders who are courageous and optimistic. These leaders have a vision they are passionate about achieving. Their passion will give them the strength to take risks that will bring them closer to their goal. Moreover, they possess competency in their tangible skills and excellence in their attitude, energy, and enthusiasm. Dr. Buccino states that a leader's temperament is bound to be tested and, therefore, must be steadfast and resilient. During a crisis, "there is no time for procrastination or over deliberation." Rather, there is a fleeting window of opportunity for a decisive leader to take charge.
A freshman in the College of Education, Meghan Johnson, asked Dr. Buccino if his top-ten list of essential leadership characteristics evolved during his leadership journey or if they proved to be consistent. Dr. Buccino acknowledged that circumstances are always changing, and priorities often shift over time. However, amongst the many leadership competencies that make an effective leader, credibility, temperament, and integrity have proved to be the most persistent. Johnson's experiences in the leadership program and her exchange with Dr. Buccino's gave her assurance that "the things I'm learning in the Institute will impact me throughout my life."
A leader's greatest challenges are putting together an effective team and directing that team towards excellence. Mismanagement, reckless action, and failure to adapt exacerbate these challenges. Strong leaders can communicate why achieving their goal produces rewards for all parties involved. Strong mentorship within an organizational structure and shared values across a team can effectively empower individuals to overcome uncertainty and stay focused on achieving collective goals. It inspires action and prompts others to take initiative, producing visionary leaders.
Dr. Buccino emphasizes that "while knowledge and experience are essential in addressing the challenge, the characteristics outlined above will provide the leader with the tools to solve it." According to Dr. Buccino, competency, credibility, and courage make leaders.