I will think danger.ous.ly

New campaign of Rotterdam School of Management "I WILL" is bringing many alumni together with their one page story. Below goes a good one by Lorenzo de Rita "I WILL INSPIRE "with "DANGEROUSLY" message:


When we first met over a year ago, Dean Yip asked for something really different for RSM. And I WILL is not the usual campaign, where you put up banners and run adverts and it works by presence.

I WILL was never meant to be a slogan. I WILL has nothing to do with selling a programme. It is a manifesto, a direction, a commitment. I WILL doesn't describe what yo'u learn in classes, how you apply what you learn, what your degree will do for your career. I WILL is not what the School is about; it's what the people of the School are about. It's about connection, humanity, warmth: I WILL says that we're more than a school, we're a community.

What started the journey to I WILL? First, I thought about what a university, and then what a business school, really is. On some level, it's a beautiful building that is full of human beings. People who are ambitious, willing to dream, willing to learn, and are thinking about the future. To start the 'semantic journey' I took words that are used a lot in business schools - 'leadership' and 'leader', these are important - and went to Wikipedia.

I discovered that the leader is one who looks forward; in looking forward, the leader influences others. What moves a leader? Willpower. As a leader you need to believe in yourself and what you're doing. 'Willpower' didn't sound quite right, but 'will' - I WILL - does.

I WILL is interesting for two reasons. One is emotional. We're not talking about the structure or the courses in a university; we're talking about the personality and passion of leaders. And secondly, most importantly, I WILL is in the future tense. That is what happens in a business school - you are projecting yourself into your future. When you do this, you have to push yourself to the edge to envision the best future; it's good to do this. I think my favourite motto these days is Think dangerously. Act safely.' But I WILL should help us all push the boundaries of what we will commit to.

Coming back to RSM, the School needs to reach out, to participate in the lives of its people. We want to dialogue with people. We want to listen to them. This is why the initial choice of media was, and is, important. Connection and community and dialogue are what we want, so the I WILL site was developed. This open social media means we have to let go of result. We have to see who our people really are.

I think that in the nature of the I WILL movement there is an ongoing sentiment of "I can't stop - I've got to keep saying 'I WILL' to what is important to me." That's something that leaders do.

Lorenzo de Rita is the Director of the Soon Institute in Amsterdam and an award-winning creative director for such clients as Volvo, Benetton, Adidas, MTV and Diesel.

Source: RSM OUTLOOK WINTER 2009, page 21

Short link: http://name.ly/~RJfQ$3e

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