Humana President and CEO Brouce Broussard advocated the importance of work-life balance and caring for others in his commencement address to undergraduates in the McDonough School of Business in McDonough Hall on Saturday.
Broussard, who was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Sciences degree at the ceremony, became President and CEO of Humana, a health insurance company, in 2013. Before joining Humana as President in 2011, Broussard was the chairman and CEO of McKesson Specialty/US Oncology, Inc.
In his introduction of Broussard, MSB Professor Bill Novelli called Broussard an innovator in the healthcare industry.
“During his tenure, he has led both his company and the nation toward a model for integrated care delivery—one that puts and keeps the individual patient and not simply the disease at the center,” Novelli said.
Broussard urged the students to make the most of life by learning to balance family and career. Broussard said he realized his priorities were out of order after his mother died in a car accident.
“I regretted the time I was not able to spend with family members. I also regretted that I defined life success as career success,” Broussard said.
Broussard said it is important to devote energy to all the things that are important in one’s life, rather than focusing on one sole endeavor.
“So balancing priorities for me has been a lot like caring for tomato plants. First you have to pick your plants, but then you have to water them to grow them. Similar to life and time, water is limited, so you have to make some decisions,” Broussard said. “Do I water one plant to grow strong, or do I water multiple plants to remain healthy?”
Broussard said having courage and standing by one’s beliefs will result in success.
“Never compromise your non-negotiables. Have courage, ask questions, stand up for what you believe in, even when it is more difficult and is the longer and harder path. I promise you, there will be more doors that open than close,” Broussard said.
Broussard spoke at length of the importance of helping others. According to Broussard, developing trust and finding ways to help others is important for success in both the business world and day-to-day life.
“On a recent visit to a customer’s home with a nurse—she was a senior citizen—I asked, ‘What else can we do for you?’ This individual, not having family living with her, about 80 years old, answered the question ‘I’m lonely,’” Broussard said. “For me, loneliness resulted in the identification of a health problem. And asking that simple question, that I would not have been able to understand in the boardroom, in management reports or in meetings, it allowed me to identify that a health problem is a loneliness problem.”
Broussard said being successful comes in tandem with helping others be successful.
“I was listening to a tape and it had a profound impact on me. It was by the late Zig Ziglar, a motivational speaker and an author. He said, ‘You will get all you want in life if you help enough others get what they want,’” Broussard said.
Broussard reminded students to persevere and focus on achieving their own goals, rather than getting distracted by others.
“Remember your journey is your journey. Don’t waste time comparing it to others, things won’t go as planned and remember the four P’s—patience, persistence, passion and Pepto-Bismol,” Broussard said.
MSB Dean David Thomas said the 341 graduating students received a unique business education during their undergraduate careers.
“We have not simply been engaged in a process of certification. We have been engaged in a process of formation whose tenets are deeply rooted in our Jesuit heritage and the values that animate it,” Thomas said.
Hoya Staff Writer Christian Paz contributed reporting.