Güler Sabanci is the granddaughter of Omer Sabanci, the founder of a Turkish textile business that has grown into a $25 billion dollar Sabanci Group. Since Güler’s uncle (Sakip Sabanci) died in 2004, she has been appointed by her two surviving uncles to be the Chairwoman and Managing Director of Sabanci Holdings – making her this year’s 94th most powerful woman according to Forbes.
At any rate, education-wise, we can’t say enough of Güler – after all, she came from a renown Turkish family so expect her to be well-educated. Experience-wise? Well, although she had various management roles in her family’s business, she basically had free access to the company, so we can’t really talk about her rise or her wealth but her philosophy and works as a person then as a Leader.
Her handling of the Sabanci Foundation as well as the Sabanci University would be her legacy as a Leader. And to become a good leader, it starts with being a good person. That’s what Güler has shown in her course. You know, sometimes, family values and traditions have a lot to say about one’s convictions.
The name Sabanci has come to epitomize education, philanthropy and the arts.
Güler once said, “Life is meaningless if you are only making money. It is important, it is essential but it is not enough.” And she walks the talk. To this date, the Sabanci Group have contributed to over $1.5 billion to charities.
And yes, like many others, she is also one of those who experienced discrimination against women – and this is why she gives particular attention to helping women and girls as well as the real needy.
For Güler Sabanci, life has never revolved around herself but others. At the end of the day, there are really no IDKs or “what’s in it for me?” in her vocabulary unlike what we occasionally see in networking.
See? If you want to make an impact, you have to start with yourself. Fix your heart and mind into giving instead of taking. Be of service. Never discriminate – not just in terms of gender but race, status, everything. Be the solution not a burden. That’s being a true Leader.
What’s your take?