In a flying visit to Luxembourg on her way back to the United States from the Vatican, Columbian-born business guru Dr Betty Uribe gave a talk on Sunday about “Peak performance in business and life”.
“If you are clear about your own values, live according to them, and align them with your actions, you build trust around you,” she explains to an international audience.
Based in the United States, Dr Betty is a renowned senior banking executive, entrepreneur and author. She owns five small businesses and serves on the board of several private, education and non-profit organisations. But she is no ordinary business woman.
She has coached and helped the presidents of several countries, banks and corporations around the world, in addition to governors, senators and senior military staff in the US. In each case the goal has been to lead with a “higher purpose” and a clear sense of values.
“God, family, work, education, health and community are my values,” she says.
Despite managing a US$3 billion banking operation, which she turned from unprofitable into an award winning “best in class” operation, Dr Betty still leaves board meetings to answer the phone to her children.
“My children know that they must only call me if it’s an absolute emergency, but I want to give them a clear message that they come first, before work,” she explains.
In an hour-long talk which focused on the stories and techniques in her recently published book “#Values”, she advised the audience to “know what you want and don’t be afraid to ask until you get it”.
Dr Betty delivers her message in a personable and participatory style. Using her own life experience, she explains that 60 seconds is enough time to explain almost anything, and that most people, even very senior ones, will give you 60 seconds. The audience is asked to close their eyes and put up their hands when they think 60 seconds have gone by. Most put up their hands sooner.
In a second exercise the audience has just two minutes to write down the 25 achievements of which they are most proud.
“It could be a hug, a good deed, an award, a life goal, it doesn’t matter,” she says.
Interestingly most of the audience find it hard to find 25 things to write, and family or children score highly on most lists.
“Values are lacking all over the world in governments, business, and academia; among movie and sports stars, and even within families,” she says, adding: “We need to inject values back into life.”
She encourages today’s leaders to understand clearly what they value most in life and act or make decisions according to those values.
Annica Torneryd from Act2Exceed which organised the event said: “I asked Dr Betty to give a talk in Luxembourg to inspire the younger generation here. If we lead intentional lives and start cultivating the habit of making good choices, just imagine the impact on families, classrooms, companies, and nations.”
Audience feedback was positive: “I personally saw myself reflected in her, as I’ve had so many difficult moments in my life. It was amazing to have someone remind you that everything is possible,” says Oriana Estrada.
A passionate advocate for Dr Betty, Annica suggests that everyone start their day with a value-based question and commit to taking an intentional action.
“Each morning, ask yourself what you want to accomplish, who you can support or what you can do slightly better today than you did yesterday,” she suggests.