For Steve Linehan, effective leaders are made, not born. “The qualities of good leaders,” he says, “can be developed and honed with practice, practice, practice.”
Last November, Linehan, executive vice president and treasurer of Capital One, shared that insight with the students in the Personal Leadership course at Fordham’s Gabelli School of Business. He spoke about integrity, humility, courage and compassion—the principles that have guided him throughout his 25-year career, which began in the commercial banking and thrift industry.
Linehan’s presentation was well received by the students, says Nancy McCarthy, director of personal and professional development at the Gabelli School. “One of the points Steve stressed was passion. He said, ‘To me passion is about excellence, elevating yourself and others to ever higher standards—not taking shortcuts.'”
Linehan also met with the Fordham Finance Society at Rose Hill, where he shared “insight on how a balance sheet is managed to support the business strategy of a large financial institution.”
It wasn’t his first visit to the Rose Hill campus. Steve and his wife, Karin, are members of the Fordham Parents’ Leadership Council. Their daughter Madison is a sophomore at Fordham College at Rose Hill.
“We are proud to be Fordham parents. It’s a way for me to be more involved; another way to be connected. It’s important to us and for Maddy to see that connection,” says Steve, who is a graduate of the University Notre Dame and Loyola University Maryland. “The council is a great conduit to stay connected to what’s happening on campus.”
Residents of Derwood, Md., the Linehans have two other children: Mary Kate, a junior at Miami University in Ohio, and Jack, a junior at the Heights School in Potomac, Md. Both Steve and Karin have been active supporters of their children’s education and activities. Steve, who was a member of the first varsity lacrosse team at the University of Notre Dame, coached Mary Kate and Madison in lacrosse while they were in high school. Steve now coaches his son in baseball. Karin was a member of a parents committee for sports at her daughters’ Catholic grade school, serving as a liaison between the families and the coaches.
“Ever since kindergarten, I’ve been involved with my kids’ schools,” says Karin. “I like being able to participate—build a bond with the school.”
A native of Kentucky, Karin finds New York City intimidating, but says Madison has embraced the city and Fordham. “I’m pleased and proud,” she says. “The morals and values of the school are [in synch with]ours. It’s nice to continue with that.”
by Rachel Buttner, Assistant Editor