Skip to main content
About HEC About HEC Faculty & Research Faculty & Research Master’s programs Master’s programs MBA Programs MBA Programs PhD Program PhD Program Executive Education Executive Education Summer School Summer School HEC Online HEC Online About HEC Overview Overview Who We Are Who We Are Egalité des chances Egalité des chances Career Center Career Center International International Campus Life Campus Life Stories Stories The HEC Foundation The HEC Foundation Faculty & Research Overview Overview Faculty Directory Faculty Directory Departments Departments Centers Centers Chairs Chairs Knowledge Knowledge Master’s programs Master in
Management Master in
MSc International
Finance MSc International
Masters Specialized
programs X-HEC
programs Dual-Degree
Visiting students Visiting students Certificates Certificates Student Life Student Life
MBA Programs MBA MBA Executive MBA Executive MBA TRIUM EMBA TRIUM EMBA PhD Program Overview Overview HEC Difference HEC Difference Program details Program details Research areas Research areas HEC Community HEC Community Placement Placement Job Market Job Market Admissions Admissions Financing Financing Executive Education Executive Masters Executive Masters Executive Certificates Executive Certificates Executive short programs Executive short programs Online Online Train your teams Train your teams Executive MBA Executive MBA Summer School Youth Leadership Initiative Youth Leadership Initiative Summer programs Summer programs Admissions Admissions FAQ FAQ HEC Online Overview Overview Degree Program Degree Program Executive certificates Executive certificates MOOCs MOOCs
Baie du Mont Saint Michel avec les étudiants - seminaire L3 2019

How to find meaning in our work? What are the conditions of collective action? Is a noble goal only possible in the field of philanthropy or Corporate Social Responsibility, or can it be the main focus of a company and its activities? What principles, what methods can guide actions of today's leaders? How to create an environment that allows organizations' members to be themselves and to flourish, personally and professionally?

Purpose, or 'raison d'être', is a common good that commits and line up all co-workers of a company to the same goals. Conversely, the loss of this common purpose can be the first source of employee disengagement.

However, binding together workers' individual purposes and the company's projects is not obvious, specifically when organizations multiply contradictory conjunctions on the field. Reflecting on this issue and concrete responses to it is a major challenge at the heart of HEC's mission.

Best Buy Chairman and CEO Hubert Joly and his Alma Mater signed an agreement on July 4, creating HEC’s first-ever personally endowed Chair, devoted to purposeful leadership. The 1981 graduate, who was recently recognized by Barron’s as one of the top 30 CEOs in the world, is donating €3.7 million ($4.3 million) to finance the creation of the Joly Family Endowed Chair in Purposeful Leadership. The academic director of the Society and Organizations Center (S&O), Professor Rodolphe Durand has been named as the inaugural Chair holder. Cécile de Lisle is the executive director.

Purposeful Leadership

Purposeful Leadership at the heart of teaching at HEC Paris

From this year on, all of the students who take part in the Master in Management (MiM) Grande Ecole program at HEC Paris will follow the Purposeful Leadership track throughout their studies, thanks to the Joly Family Endowed Chair in Purposeful Leadership.

The objective is to make students aware of the opportunities available to them in business and to invite them to reflect personally on their ambitions.

I felt that we could make a difference by better preparing the leaders of tomorrow to be the leaders that the world needs.

Hubert Joly, Executive Chairman of Best Buy and Founder of the Chair Purposeful Leadership


The purpose of this chair is to identify and bring together the best international experts around the theme of purpose in business, to support research conducted by the best HEC professors to train future generations of CEOs in this field, and to offer an annual scholarship to a distinguished student who demonstrates a strong interest in this issue. 


For the first time, all 'Grande Ecole' first year students (who will get into HEC Paris in september 2019) will follow a specific course lasting for the total duration of their degree, aimed at raising awareness about the role of purpose in business and help them to put their own purposes and values at the very heart of their professional project.

This course will run as follows: 

Purposeful leadership chair pedagogy


Discover (L3)

Mature (M1)

Build (M2+Ms, MBA, Execed)



  • Discover the issues of purpose in economic action / work


  • Mature the place of purpose in professional projects
  • Help students to place purpose in the heart of their professional projects 


3 axes:

  • “Be yourself” : Purposefully lead self – Authenticity axis
  • “Be with” : Purposefully lead others – Team leadership axis
  • “Be for” : Purposefully lead organizations – Mission axis

Digital course: 

  • Strong focus on humanities
  • Including leaders testimonies & testimonies of their teams
  • Including best L3 short videos
  • Coaching on the search for positive externalities of students professional projects
  • Encourage the research of the meaning of its action to become a priority axis
  • Fostering purposeful entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship 


Hubert Joly (H.81), Executive Board Chairman of Best Buy and Major Donor of HEC’s Foundation, created in July 2018, along with HEC Paris and the HEC Foundation, the Joly Family Chair in Purposeful Leadership.

Hubert Joly's exceptional gift and the commitment of Nicolas Giauque (H.93), Pascal Stefani (H.88) and Laure Fau (H.93) on this topic made it possible to set up a path on purposeful leadership for all the students of HEC throughout their studies, this program was launched at the beginning of the academic year of September 2019 and followed by the entire new graduating class.


HEC Paris - Mont Saint-Michel - Purposeful Leadership - Sept. 2019
A year after creating the Joly Family Endowed Chair in Purposeful Leadership, HEC Paris launches its three-year sense and leadership program, destined for the entire HEC Grande Ecole 2019 intake. A...
HEC Paris - Joly Family Endowed Chair in Purposeful Leadership
Best Buy Chairman and CEO Hubert Joly and his Alma Mater signed an agreement on July 4, creating HEC’s first-ever personally endowed Chair, devoted to purposeful leadership. The 1981 graduate, who was...
Hubert Joly
In a rousing introduction to Hubert Joly at the Matins HEC, H&C editor-in-chief Arthur Haimovici described Best Buy’s CEO as being responsible for developing “a new model for the retail industry in the...

Hubert Joly at the HEC Graduation Day, June 2019

I believe that leadership is about purposeful, authentic, human service.