The kipling balance letters


Step into a world of profound insights inspired by Rudyard Kipling's timeless poem, "If". Our host and interviewer, Pablo Isla, Chairman of IE International Advisory Board, leads you on a captivating journey.

In each episode, we welcome a distinguished CEO from some of the world's most influential companies. What makes these conversations truly unique is that our guest CEOs choose specific verses from Kipling's "If" as the focal point for our discussion, delving into topics that span business, leadership, innovation, and personal development.

Filmed in the IE Tower Auditorium, students are invited to join the filming. Here, they have the exclusive opportunity to watch the interviews and pose questions to Pablo Isla and the guest, creating a dynamic and interactive learning experience.

We invite you to watch our videos and not miss out on the exceptional lineup of guests we have in store for our inaugural season.

Discover the poem

Explore the world of "The Kipling Balance" and discover the wisdom within 'If' by Rudyard Kipling!

What is The Kipling Balance?


Graduated in Law of the Complutense University of Madrid and State Lawyer ranked number one in his class, held the position of Director of Legal Services at Banco Popular from 1992 to 1996, when he was appointed General Director of State Assets in the Finance Ministry. 

In 1998 he returned to Banco Popular Español as General Secretary and in 2000 he became Co-Chairman and Co-CEO of the Altadis Group. In 2005, Pablo Isla joined the Inditex Group as CEO, and in 2011 he became Chairman and CEO of the company until March 2022. 

During this period, Inditex became a world leader in its sector and a benchmark in digital integration and sustainability. Pablo Isla is also member of the Board of Directors of Nestlé, Global Senior Advisor at General Atlantic and Chairman of the International Advisory Board of IE University, and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Museo del Prado, Madrid´s Teatro Real, La Caixa Foundation, among others. 

Harvard Business Review has named him in 2017 and 2018 as the best CEO in the world.

Photo of Pablo Isla




With Ignacio S. Galán, Executive Chairman of Iberdrola

Chosen poem section:

“If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

But make allowance for their doubting too;


If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;

If all men count with you, but none too much;”

The Kipling Balance Episode 2 - The Calm During the Storm


With Carlos Torres Vila, Chair of BBVA

Chosen poem section:

“If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same”

 José María Álvarez-Pallete, CEO of Telefónica

Episode 1: A call for resilience and the strengh of will

With José María Álvarez-Pallete, CEO of Telefónica

Chosen poem section:

“If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To serve your turn long after they are gone,

and so hold on when there is nothing in you

Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch.”

the Kipling Balance PODCAST

Tune in to our video episodes, now available in podcast format.