Steven A. Denning, Arbuckle Award recipient: look outside yourself for the answers

The magnitude of the challenges facing the world today could make it tempting to “protect and maintain what we have,” said Steven A. Denning, MBA ’78, to the attendees at the 2018 Arbuckle Award Dinner on May 3. But, he warned, this incremental thinking “might be inadequate to meet the scale of the challenges we face.”

Steven A. Denning
Steven A. Denning advised Stanford GSB students to learn to take risks and see beyond their own ambitions. (Image credit: Linda A. Cicero)

Instead, Denning, who accepted the 2018 Ernest C. Arbuckle Award, challenged graduates to take risks and pursue big goals.

The Arbuckle Award, given by Stanford Graduate School of Business, recognizes excellence in the field of management leadership. Named for the late Stanford GSB dean, it has been awarded annually since 1968 to honor top leaders who address the changing needs of society.

Denning is chairman of General Atlantic LLC and a director of Engility Corp., the Council on Foreign Relations and the Bridgespan Group. At Stanford, he serves on numerous advisory boards and is the former chairman of the university board of trustees and Stanford GSB Advisory Council.

JONATHAN LEVIN, dean of the Graduate School of Business, noted in his opening remarks that in times when the news is full of stories about leaders who fall short, this award recognizes leadership of great integrity and principle. Denning, Levin said, “is interested in every important issue, he shows up for every event, he has wise advice on every topic, and he has a magical ability to give everyone the feeling that he is absolutely, fully engaged on the things that matter most to them.”

To read the full article and watch a video of the award ceremony, go to the Graduate School of Business website.