Vice chairman says adaptability crucial for professional success

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    Wall Street made a stop at TCU when Merrill Lynch’s vice chairman spoke at the last Executive Speaker Series breakfast of the semester.In addition to being a vice chairman, Bob McCann is the president of Merrill Lynch’s Global Private Client Group and a TCU MBA graduate.

    At the breakfast, McCann said adaptability is the key to long-term success in any profession.

    McCann quoted Charles Darwin: “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”

    He said he has experienced change firsthand when he moved from Pennsylvania to Texas to work on his MBA.

    “Nobody warned me about the Texas heat,” McCann said. “But I have been toughened by the heat of Texas’ summer and Joe T. Garcia’s.”

    In a less breezy tone, McCann said adapting the business model is critical to survival because successful companies are always going to be changing.

    He said the business community as a whole needs to work on trying to enhance, strengthen and redefine the business atmosphere.

    “Every organization needs a great culture to get the best out of its people,” McCann said.

    He went on to say the education he received at TCU was exceptional and changed his life.

    “I developed a skill set that allowed me to get to New York,” McCann said. “I have now been in New York since I graduated from TCU in 1982.”

    Despite the Texas weather, McCann said he fell in love with Fort Worth and is thankful for the education he received at TCU.

    McCann said Stanley Block, a finance professor, was his favorite professor at TCU.

    “A small number of people can play a large part in someone’s life,” he said.

    Block said he remembers McCann well from the time he spent with him on the Educational Investment Fund.

    “The one thing I have learned from Bob McCann is that nice guys can finish first,” Block said.

    The advice McCann gave students was to choose their own paths toward success because success cannot be achieved by following someone else’s standards.

    He also told students to think big, have confidence in themselves and to remember leadership is a privilege, not a right.