“We cannot wait for the storm to pass over - we must learn to dance in the rain.”

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Harry Kraemer

Successful Businessman, Professor and Author

redefines leadership as coming from the bottom up, not top down

A Catholic Approach to Successful Leadership


“What’s this world coming to?”

“Can you believe what’s happening to our society?”

We hear these laments frequently today. But who’s to blame?

In Harry Kraemer’s view, much of the blame falls on each of us when we casually call for value-based leaders to steer society. Kraemer says that looking for new leaders to correct society is applying yesterday’s thinking to a “today” problem. And Kraemer offers thoughtful solutions.

A very successful business leader and educator, Kraemer will speak at the Catholics@Work breakfast on Tuesday, March 14.

Kraemer will focus on the importance of values-based Catholic leadership. Turning the concept of leadership upside-down, Kraemer reasons that change and real leadership start at the bottom with each person, rather than at the top.

Kraemer thinks that one key principle of successful value-based leadership is—silence! By that he means that honest self-reflection, which is essential to successful leadership; and self reflection requires silence.

Kraemer has the experience to support his view. He was the CEO of Baxter International Inc., a $9-billion global healthcare company. Today he is Professor of Management and Strategy at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, where he is one of its most popular lecturers, and a prominent practicing Catholic. He also is an executive partner of Madison Dearborn.

Kraemer wrote several books  ”From Values to Action: The Four Principles of Values-Based Leadership” and ”Becoming the Best: Build a World-Class Organization Through Values-Based Leadership” (for more go to

His impact is seen in many of his former students. On a shoestring, one started  One Acre Fund, an organization to help African subsistence farmers become successful. Today it helps 600,000 farmers make a decent living. To help support it, Kraemer dedicated all profits from his book “From Values to Action” to the fund.

Kraemer teaches some of the most popular classes at Kellogg. He is a mentor to his students, known for quickly jumping on the phone with students seeking personal and career advice.

Kraemer and his wife have hosted Mass for students at their home--celebrated by one of his Kellogg students who is also a pastor in the Chicago archdiocese.

Diana Nagy, president of Catholics@Work says, “This idea of leadership being bottoms up, not top down, is much more than an academic exercise; it is vital!  

“Just look at the work of the One Acre Fund, developing value-based leaders in small, impoverished farmers to build success after success.  

Harry’s view of how each one of us can make a difference as a value-based leader is truly eye-opening.  Please put this breakfast on your calendar today.”


 Click on the red "REGISTER" button to the left to let us know you are coming.

When you click on this button you will have four choices:

  1. Reserve a seat.
  2. Buy a ticket at the non-member rate of $30.
  3. Buy a ticket at the member rate of $20.
  4. Pay for your 2016-17 membership (half year price $50) and buy a ticket at the member rate of $20.

Catholics at Work is a speakers forum in the Oakland Catholic diocese, monthly except summer and January, featuring top Catholic lay and religious leaders.
To see past speakers click on the Calendar of Events to left.

Our new membership year began in September so if you have forgotten to renew (it happens) please renew your membership or sign up as a new member by Clicking on the membership link below. 

Event Details

Date:                         Tuesday March 14, 2017

Location:                  Crow Canyon Country Club in Danville (get directions)

Time:                        The event begins at 7:00 am and ends sharply at 8:15 am.  

                              Mass is celebrated at 6:30 am for those able to attend.

Cost:                         Breakfast is $20 for members, $30 for non-members.

People who pay their 2016-17 membership (half year price $50) for the

event can receive their breakfast at the member rate.

                                                                (become a member)