Nobody knows entrepreneurship like Sam Zell. The Chicago-based founder/chairman of Equity International has made several fortunes in fields in real estate, energy, and communications. A two-time University of Michigan graduate (BA ’63, JD ’66), Zell is a major benefactor of the university, the Ross School of Business, and particularly its entrepreneurship programs, endowing the Zell Lurie Institute in 1999.
Recently, Scott DeRue, the Edward J. Frey Dean of Michigan Ross, interviewed Zell at a gathering of alumni in the Chicago area. Zell offered thoughts on what drives success, the connection between loyalty and corporate culture, and his most famous miscalculation in business.