Mellody Hobson

Lesson time 05:41 min

Mellody Hobson is the current president and co-CEO of Ariel Investments, America’s first Black-owned mutual fund firm, founded by John Rogers in 1983. In this class, Mellody will teach you how you can apply strategic thinking to any circumstance, no matter what highs or lows you might be facing in your everyday life. Using the case study method of teaching, she will evaluate two pivotal decisions she made as a business leader and will put you in the position to consider what you would do at that moment.

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Topics include: Mellody Hobson Strategic Decision-Making


[AUDIO LOGO] - I am the co-CEO and president of Ariel Investments, a company that manages over $16.2 billion in assets. And yet I didn't go to business school. And the reason I didn't go to business school is that I started my career when I was 22 years old. And I never found a moment to break away because every day created so many unique opportunities for me to learn and grow. When I thought about business school, I thought, well, that's a place where I go to read case studies and learn about how to respond to moments in time. Why go and do that when I can do this in real life? And so for you, I want to bring to life some of the moments that I've dealt with that were often very, very challenging and used my real-life experiences as scenarios for you to think about what kind of decisions you would make or how your decisions would differ from mine. And being a person who has the ability to think strategically, especially in trying and emotional times, can be a gift. I grew up the youngest of six kids. When I was growing up, my mom was an entrepreneur. And despite a Herculean effort to look after us and take care of us, she often had a hard time making ends meet. And as a result of that, we had some difficult periods. There were times when we would get evicted or our lights would get turned off or phone disconnected. And that really left a mark. It left me, as a child, desperate to understand money. And so I think it's no accident that I work in the investment field. It led me to this insatiable desire to understand how money works, how our society works around money. So I went to school at Princeton. I was fortunate to go there. I loved it so much. And the founder of Ariel Investments, John Rogers, happens to be a Princeton alum. I got up the courage one day to ask him if there was the possibility that I could be a summer intern. And he said yes. On my first day at Ariel, my first day, I'm 22 years old. I've been out of college for five minutes. John takes me to lunch. And we go to TGI Friday's, big spender that he was. He takes me to lunch. And he says, you are going to be in rooms with people who have big titles. And they make a lot of money. It doesn't mean they have better ideas. I want to hear your ideas. That was a powerful moment for a young woman, especially African-American woman, to empower me in that way because that is literally, to me, the definition of inclusion. He was including me, saying, I want your voice, I want your ideas. And I took him seriously. So I tried to show up with ideas and to speak my truth as much as possible. I've been at the company for 32 years. So really, Ariel has been foundational to developing me not just professionally, but as the person that I am. I've also had the opportunity to serve on boards. And I think of the boards, in some ways, as having been a real window to the whole world because my world at Ariel was so specific. My role as a board member, all b...

About the Instructor

Mellody Hobson knows how to make tough calls in trying times. As one of the most influential leaders in business today, she’s led companies through junctions of financial crisis, acquisitions, and restructuring. Become a more dynamic, confident business leader by diving into real-life case studies from Mellody’s career. Get an inside understanding of the pivotal decisions she’s made from the top, and build a strategic decision-making framework for your next step as a business leader.

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Mellody Hobson

Dive into the pivotal decisions that shaped Mellody’s career and learn how to apply strategic decision-making to your own future in leadership.

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