Bachmann Book Series gives ‘Lessons for Leaders’

John Bachmann (left) answers Norm Eaker’s question about “Lessons for Leaders” during the annual Bachmann Book Series Oct. 29 at UMSL. (Photo by August Jennewein)

What makes a great leader? Passion. Trust. Competence. Vision. These are just a few of the key qualities needed.

More than 350 University of Missouri– St. Louis students, faculty and staff and members of Edward Jones packed the J.C. Penney Building auditorium on Oct. 29 to listen to John Bachmann, senior partner and former managing partner at Edward Jones, discuss “Lessons for Leaders.”

The event was part of the UMSL College of Business Administration‘s annual Bachmann Book Series. But this time, Bachmann took the “hot seat” and was interviewed by Norm Eaker.

Eaker, who earned a UMSL BSBA in accounting in 1977, is chief administrative officer at Edward Jones and once worked under Bachmann.

Before beginning the questions, Eaker mentioned how fitting the topic was for UMSL. He noted that Edward Jones employs 459 UMSL alumni.

“UMSL has almost 50 percent more graduates employed at Edward Jones than any other university,” Eaker said. “We think the raw materials coming out of UMSL are serving our organization tremendously well and we thank the UMSL community for that.”


A crowd of more than 350 people attended the College of Business Administration’s annual Bachmann Book Series. (Photo by August Jennewein)

During Bachmann’s tenure as managing partner, Edward Jones grew from 200 offices in 28 states to more than 9,000 offices throughout the United States, as well as its affiliates in Canada and the United Kingdom.

Bachmann said a good leader knows how to lead productively.

“We as leaders have to get our work done through others,” he said. “This is done through trust. Trusting them and allowing them to trust you.”

He said there are six traits for effective leaders.

Having a clear a vision is important, Bachmann said. “A vision offers clear context and makes difficult decisions less difficult.”

Competence is important for a leader. “Although not everyone can be an expert in every area, demonstrating ability earns the respect a leaders needs.”

Integrity is vital because a leader is expected to set an example, Bachmann said.

Trusting your team is critical to the success of any organization.

Putting the right people in the right spots is another key element to leadership.

“But above all, having passion for what you do is the most important,” he said. “I tell people all the time, find something you’re passionate about.”

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