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#international: From the Rocky Mountains to the Black Forest

Professor Dr. Tracy Maylett

Professor Dr. Tracy Maylett teaches at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, USA. In May 2018, he visited the Business School Pforzheim as a guest professor and lectured about Leadership in the MBA program. In the interview with student worker Felix Fürst he talks about global developments, his two careers, and what he likes most about our Business School.

Prof. Maylett, for the fourth time you are visiting Pforzheim to teach in our MBA program. What do you like most about our city?
It’s such a beautiful area, the location is beautiful, the scenery is gorgeous, but the real reason I’m here is because I enjoy teaching these students. I love working with international students.

Your students are from all over the world, do you think that it is important to gather international experience?
Absolutely. The course that I teach is about leadership and today, leaders are going to interact globally. I’m no longer just working with somebody who sits next to me. Instead, I’m working with somebody who may be completely different than I am, that lives on a different side of the world, does things differently, has different values, sees things differently, ... so particularly, the topic leadership is essential to understand the global implications.

Besides your work as professor you have another profession …
Yes, I have two professional jobs. I have taught at Brigham Young University for 18 years now. I’m also CEO of a leadership consulting firm. The company does business in over 70 different countries, so I have that dual role.

That sounds like a lot of work.
I’ve been accused that teaching is my hobby. It really is a hobby for me, in addition to my profession. I really enjoy that. But I have a family of four boys, so a lot of my leisure time is spent travelling. This year I brought one of my sons here – I have had another son in Pforzheim in past years – and my wife always travels internationally with me. I combine all these areas in my life, so it works out well.

How would you describe our Business School in three words?
First of all, international, there’s no question about that. Not just in the students but in the curriculum – it’s an international curriculum. The second one is personal. By the time I spend two and a half weeks with these students, I know each one of them on a very personal level and they know me on a personal level. Third, I will say welcoming. That’s one of the reasons I keep coming back, because I feel so welcome. The students here not only seem grateful, but they welcome other ideas, other people and they do really appreciate other perspectives.

What is your most important advice you give to your students in these fast changing and challenging times?
It deals with the topic that I teach. Leadership doesn’t just involve those leaders who lead big companies, countries and large organizations. Leadership happens at every level. You can be a leader with one other person, with your spouse, or with your girlfriend. You can be a leader in small groups of friends and classmates, a family, or in the community. Leadership is everywhere you go, and everybody has the opportunity to lead in some way. So, my advice to them is: Don’t see leaders as the people who are in the press or in the media. Leaders are everybody. So, take the opportunity to understand that and take the opportunity to lead, to influence people. 

Would you tell me how I become a good leader?
Of course. If you take my class.

Thank you.

Brigham Young University is located in Provo, Utah, in a beautiful natural area at the edge of the Rocky Mountains. It is a private university which is owned by the Mormon church. This is also why 66% of the 33.000 BYU students have served missionary services, most of them abroad. The university offers numerous programs at 11 colleges, e. g. in Business, Engineering & Technology or Fine Arts and Communications. Mitt Romney (US Republican Presidential Nominee 2012) and “Twilight” author Stephenie Meyer are only two of BYU’s successful graduates.