Hi, I’m Brian Niccol, Booth graduate 2003, and currently I am the chairman and CEO of Chipotle Mexican Grill.
What I would tell leaders, future leaders, is, “Look, if you commit yourself to doing the right thing, you’ll be making the right kind of impact.” People don’t follow spreadsheets, they follow the individual. And if the individual is seen as a person that cares, and they care about doing the right thing, you can have a tremendous impact in so many different areas.
One of the reasons that Booth was such a great experience for me is, a lot of what I learned at Booth I still put into application today. And I’d say just at the high level, you know, Booth gets categorized as a highly analytical place.
I think what people miss, though, is the analytics really are only as good as your intuition on how you synthesize that information. One of the things that I’ve always really pushed in myself is, “Let’s make sure we get the facts, so that we can analyze the facts,” but if you don’t have the intuition and the ability to synthesize that information, all you’re going to do is be stuck in analysis.
One of the things that was great at my time at Booth is, it was like, “Let’s get the facts, let’s analyze the facts,” but then you’ve got to make a decision and use your intuition on how you’re going to behave with those facts and where you’re going to go with those facts.
I use that every day. I remember when I first got accepted to Booth and I was like, wow, this is going to be amazing, and it turned out to be the case. You know, the professors were outstanding, my classmates were outstanding, and to be recognized from that community is just really special. I think it’s something that frankly, when I first went to Chicago, I remember reading all the names on there, and now I’m kind of like, “Jeez, I’m going to have one of those names on there,” so it’s kind of crazy (chuckles), it’s great.