2019 John Wooden Global Leadership Fellow

Robert Busalacchi (FEMBA ’20)

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Robert Busalacchi (FEMBA ’20)

A 2010 graduate of Marquette University, Robert Busalacchi learned about Coach John Wooden as a college basketball fan. He would take to heart the building blocks of Coach’s Pyramid of Success as a Captain in the U.S. Marine Corps as he participated in training more than 78,000 Marines.

Rob joined an assault amphibian battalion in 2011 and earned the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal for demonstrating cumulative excellence in leadership. Later, he was stationed in Okinawa, where he trained, led and deployed a unit of 54 Marines in support of emergency response and combat operations in Northeast and Southeast Asia. When Rob was stationed in Twentynine Palms, California, he specialized in supporting tank companies and light armor companies.

He also had responsibilities to instruct and improve high-performing executive leadership teams as they executed complex tasks in a training environment. But he realized he needed to master an entirely new set of skills for that job. Rob was in the reserves when he enrolled at Anderson, and he carried The Essential Wooden into training exercises. He says the Leadership Foundations course reminded him that leadership is about inspiring a team. “Coach Wooden articulates humility as a ‘quiet confidence’ that has a contagious effect on a team,” he says. “Realizing how much I still had to learn myself made it easier to empathize with my trainees and to maintain humility in my teaching style.”


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