Dream BIG but Plan Forward

Hola Todos!

Mr. Mike is back with some words of wisdom. In this week’s post, Mike emphasizes, “look head – plan forward” very much in the spirit of “Big Rocks First.”  In addition, don’t just “dream big” but also make the plans to make those dreams reality.

Enjoy

Dr. Dan-o

 

To:  The Great Leaders Who Have a Passion for Continuous Learning

A Chinese proverb tells us: “Be not afraid of growing slowly; be afraid only of standing still.”  In his recent article, How to Become the Person You Want to Be, Philip Humbert, leadership coach and guru speaks about personal development.  He puts his teaching in the context of our growth from the person who we are today and the person whom we will become.  To accomplish this he believes we need a plan: “Since change and evolution are inevitable, it follows that we either plan and control our growth, or we allow ourselves to be influenced by whatever forces happen to impact us.”

We change every day in our life – from our daily experiences, events, the people with whom we interact, all these influences result in change.  Few people, Humbert suggests, despite their vision of what they want to become or their dreams and goals, “have plans or budgets or blueprints to make it happen.”  Humbert’s words are a call to action.  We have visions, strategies and goals.  What specifically will we do and when will we do it to achieve them?  Our tomorrows come quickly.  Grab your todays and fill them with action that your dreams become reality and you, and the people whom you touch, will become more than we ever dreamed we could be.  Alan Lakein, author, reminds us:  “Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.”

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

Mike

Contact Information:

Michael M. Reuter

Director, Center for Leadership Development

Stillman School of Business

Seton Hall University

Tel: (Office) 973.275.2528; (Mobile) 908.419.6060

Email: Michael.Reuter@shu.edu 

Be Happier in the Long Run

Hola Todos!

When the Norwegian playwright, Ibsen, was a young child, his family enjoyed a comfortable way of life financed by his father’s great success in the timber shipping industry.  Within a few years, however, his family’s financial fortunes were dramatically changed and the family found themselves in dire need.

His mother turned to religion for solace while his father sank into a lingering depression.  Ibsen’s sense of loss and insecurity was given voice though this characters in his plays.

Ibsen’s famous evaluation of wealth has been quoted countless times and continues to right true:

“Money may be the husk of many things, but not the kernel.  It brings you food but not appetite; medicine but not health; acquaintances but not friends; servants but not faithfulness; days of joy but not peace and happiness.”

In sum, money is not everything.  Money is not a means to an end.  I say pick “quality of life” over “living for a paycheck” – you will be happier in the long run.

Best regards,

Dr. Dan-o

Social Media Story of the Summer – Google+

Hola Todos!

Without question, the social media story of the summer has been the growth of Google+. In a little less then three months, Google+ has over 25 million members.  No other social media platform has hit the 25 million mark that fast.

In the following article, Pete Cashmore of Mashable gives us 10 “cool things” about Google + – I like the concept of “circles” a lot. As marketers, we Segment right?  I wish I could segment my Facebook friends or my Linkedin contacts.

Check this out when you get a chance.  It worth the read….

 

Best

Dr. Dan-o

 

 

Steve Jobs – The End of an Era

Hola Todos!

I guess its fitting that the two lead stories on CNN today is the massive hurricane Irene and Steve Job – a hurricane in the business world.  In my honest opinion, Steve Jobs has been the most influential CEO since GE’s Jack Welsh.  The string of hits (iMac, iPod, iPhone, iPad, etc) far outweighs the misses (MoblieMe, Ping, Apple TV, etc).  I’m not going to do a full retrospective because for the past 12 hours or so, they are everywhere to be found.  CNN.com, Apple 2.0 blog and NPR have excellent ones with many interactive/links to back content.  Perhaps even picking up a hard copy of The Wall Street Journal to have for posterity is something for today’s “to-do” list.

Instead of a retrospective, here’s my bullet point take the Steve Job news:

-Tim Cook will be fine CEO.  In fact, he has practically been the CEO for the last 6 years at Apple in charge of everything except marketing and design.  I fully expect promotions of Philip Schiller (Sr. VP, Marketing) and Jonathan Ive (Sr. VP, Industrial Design) in the near future.  These three match up  – – or are better than every leadership team in tech.

-The timing of the announcement is odd.  I guess we’re all surprised even though with Jobs health over the last 2+ years, we knew Jobs was going to step down eventually.  Perhaps with one of Apple’s biggest competitors HP throwing in the towel on both the consumer PC market and the Tablet market it was a good time.  Plus I don’t believe Google needed to spend 12.5 billion to just protect against patent lawsuits.  Every tech reporter from NYC to San Fran could see right through that smoke screen.  Google knows (plus HP confirmed it) the future of the consumer market is mobile.  Android/Motorola is at least two generations behind iPad2.  And with all the rumors that iPad3 will be revolutionary, Google/Android could potentially be 4 or 5 generations behind iPad by March 2012. In short, Apple’s two biggest competitors are down. Why not now?

-On a related point on timing, the rumor mill on iPhone 5 is buzzing: (1) potentially a new low-end $99 iPhone, (2) a third carrier in Sprint, and most important (3) iPhone 5 will be on the market in 3 to 4 weeks. (There are also a multitude of rumors that iPhone 5 will be a major leap in innovation).  All of this will make Wall Street forget about Steve Jobs relatively quickly.  I can see headlines now “The absence of iconic CEO Steve Jobs is not hurting Apple shares as the market is reacting strongly to consumer sales of iPhone 5…..”

-Apple’s stock took a 5% hit last night on the “shock” but it won’t last. See iPhone 5 comments above.  Remember iPad 3 is 6 months away.

-I expect a parody based on Oliver Hirschbiegel’s “Downfall” sometime today or tomorrow on YouTube.  Although these “Hitler” videos are among the stalest jokes on YouTube (e.g., the film’s original subtitles have been rewritten to cover everything from Kanye West’s diss of Taylor Swift to Apple’s (AAPL) rejection of the Fuhrer’s Flash app) it’s expected nonetheless.

In summary, it is the end of an Era but it is not the end of Apple.  Even with how fast the tech industry moves, Apple should be very comfortable with what is already in the pipeline for at least the next 24 to 36 months.  The only question remains is: will Apple be able to plan now for the next 36 to 60 months without Steve? Apple is sitting on 76 billions dollars in cash – I can easily see Apple using that cash somehow so that new-CEO can put his stamp on something (are you reading this Larry Page?)

 

Best regards

Dr. Dan-o

 

Teaching Philosophy (Part II)

Hello Todos – and welcome to the second half of my teaching philosophy which centers on knowledge being constructed, not received.

How do we learn?  Learning scientists and developmental psychologists have explored this phenomenon at length asking how or when does learning have a sustained, substantial, and positive influence on the way one thinks, acts, or feels.  Developmental psychologists found that knowledge is constructed and this process begins in the crib (Gopnik, Meltzoff, and Kuhl 1999).  Babies and children have powerful learning mechanisms that through experience, allow them to spontaneously revise, reshape, and restructure their knowledge.  They consider evidence, solve problems, do experiments, and draw conclusions thus creating their theories about the world.  Yet, when new evidence arises, these theories are then revised.  During the first three years of life, children radically restructure their knowledge as they are continually revising or creating new mental models of the world.  A child’s experience interacts with what he or she already knows about the world to produce new knowledge, which enables them to have new experiences and to test new predictions.  In sum, this enables them to produce further knowledge perpetuating the continual learning cycle.

Perhaps philosopher Otto Neurath put it best by compared knowledge to Ulysses’ boat.  To keep afloat during his thirty years of wondering, Ulysses had to constantly repair and rebuild the boat he lived in.  Each new storm or calm meant an alteration in the design.  By the end of the journey hardly anything remained of the original vessel.  Neurath (1959) suggests this is a suitable metaphor for cognitive development.  People begin life by creating many beliefs about the world, and those beliefs guide how one acts, feels, thinks, and most importantly, revises their knowledge.

To summarize, knowledge is constructed, not received and learning process people cycle through is the same for children as it is for college students.  Students are not a blank slate when they sit in class the first day of the semester.  They have some knowledge and it is the professor’s job to build on their existing knowledge.  Experiential teaching activities are a strong way to accomplish this goal.  Experiences are central to one’s identity, thus, the more learning experiences a professor can imbue into the classroom, the more conducive the environment is to creating new knowledge.

 

References

Bain, Ken. 2004. What the Best Teachers Do. Harvard University Press: Cambridge, MA.

Gopnik, Alison, Andrew N. Meltzoff, and Patricia K. Kuhl. 1999. The Scientist in the Crib. Perennial: New York, NY.

Neurath, Otto. 1959. “Protocol Sentences,” In Logical Positivism. Ed. A.J. Ayer, Glencoe, IL: Free Press, 199-208

Van Boven, Leaf and Thomas Gilovich. 2003. “To Do or to Have?  That is the Question.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 85 (6): 1193-1202.

 

Teaching Philosophy (Part I)

Hola Todos!

As you all know, teaching is my passion and I truly enjoy being in the classroom dispensing nuggets.  Since my doctoral program, I have been refining my teaching philosophy and surprise – its centers on nuggets.  NOTE: while the following pertains to my classroom, almost all of the content described below can apply to your career at your firm.

The essence of my teaching philosophy can be summarized to knowledge is constructed, not received.  My teaching philosophy is central to my approach for knowledge delivery in the classroom.  I truly strive to (A) be active, (B) coach rather than lecture, and (C) use materials and exercises which elicit the maximum amount of class participation.  In class after class, I have learned the less I try to “talk” and lecture straight from my notes, the more engaged the students are in the classroom.  This philosophy fits well with my servant leadership research where the leader (or teacher) acts more as a coach, mentor, or pedagogic partner rather than a general.  Ken Bain’s (2004) book What the Best Teachers Do further enhanced my teaching philosophy by explicitly describing that knowledge is constructed, not received and learning occurs through deep meaningful personal experience.  Therefore, I employ experiential teaching activities such as nuggets (AKA takeaways), journals, topic talks, and research modules to make the classroom experience more active.

A teaching emphasis on experiential activities is theoretically sound as experiences are more central to one’s identity.  As suggested by Van Boven and Gilovich (2003), a person’s life is quite literally the sum of his or her experiences and the accumulation of rich experiences creates a richer life.  Furthermore, experiences may contribute more favorably to one’s identity because they meet intrinsic goals relating to personal growth and therefore are more self-actualizing.

Further evidence from the education literature suggests that experience is the strongest path to creating new knowledge.  Learning scientists have showed that rich meaningful experience leads to deep learning as knowledge is constructed not received.  Perhaps the best way illustrate this notion is to contrast it with the traditional view where, memory is conceptualized as a great storage bin.  Knowledge is put in and then later retrieved for future use.  Thus, it is not uncommon to hear a professor say, “my students must learn the material before they can think about it,” presumably meaning that they must store it somewhere for later use.  However, professors, scientists or marketers who use this “storage bin” metaphor will be disappointed with their results.

In a classic study, two physics professors wanted to know whether a typical introductory physics course, with its traditional emphasis on Newton, changed the way students thought about motion.  In describing the study, it is possible to substitute “think about motion” with any other phrase that fits a learning objective.  The professors devised and validated an examination to determine if students understood motion and this test was given to students of four different physics professors at the beginning of the semester.  The results from the first test surprised no one.  Most students entered the course with elementary theories about the physical world in what the professors called “a cross between Aristotelian and 14th century impetus ideas.” In short, they did not think about motion the way Isaac Newton did, let alone like Richard Feynman (Gopnik, Meltzoff, and Kuhl 1999).

A few weeks after the semester was over, the professors retested the same students with the same examination and discovered that the course had made comparatively small changes in the way students thought.  Perhaps most disturbing, some of the students who had received high grades in the class continued to think more like Aristotle than like Newton.  This study, as well as, other studies has found that students earn high grades by learning to “plug and chug;” memorizing formulae, sticking numbers in the right equation or splicing the right vocabulary into a paper.  When the class is over, much of material is forgotten as the “storage bin” is easily dumped.

In my next post, I will wrap-up my teaching philosophy, further emphasizing that knowledge is constructed, not received.

 

New England Tour

Hola Todos – I hope the day has been treating you well.

My family just got back from a fantastic visit with friends in our old stomping grounds of New England.  We visited friends in Frye Island, ME, Boston, MA and Plymouth, MA (yes we saw the Mayflower and the rock).  I even had a great lunch with Suffolk University colleagues Giana Eckhardt and Kevin Bao.  Kevin and I are working on an academic paper.  Thanks goes out to Christine Adams for helping promote this blog to all her social media networks.

The purpose of this email is not to gloat about the trip.  Yes it was wonderful but the message I wanted to convey is: when you are on vacation, BE on vacation.  Unplug – rest up – turn the phone off.  My semester starts up in just under 1 week and I’m ready to go –my batteries are fully recharged – not partially recharged.

Two HUGE news stories broke during the trip (e.g., the Google – Motorola deal and HP killing the consumer PC & tablet lines).  Both times I felt the urge to blog right away but you know, I was on vacation it felt better to hang out with family and friends.  Both of these stories are ongoing, both had trepid responses from Wall Street and the blogosphere, and I will comment on each in the near future.  Needless to say, Apple is very much responsible for what happened.  No surprises there.

Perhaps a vacation is not in the cards in the near future but try turning your phone off when you get home from work this Friday and see what happens.  I bet you the world does not come to an end.

Best regards,

Dr. Dan-o

Big Rocks First!

Hola Todos!

I have a handful of expressions – sayings I repeat to myself often and one of these expressions I call “BIG Rocks FIRST.”  When I was in my doctoral program circa 1998 and completely overwhelmed with my tasks at hand, I got this goofy email that just stopped me in my tracks. It became my mantra – a way for me to organize all my work activities.  It forced me to think big and more importantly to think long term and plan ahead.  In short, it works for me so give it a thought today.

Enjoy!

Dr. Dan-o

 

Big Rocks FIRST

A while back I was reading about an expert on subject of time management.  One day this expert was speaking to a group of business students and, to drive home a point, used an illustration I’m sure those students will never forget.  After I share it with you, you’ll
never forget it either.  As this man stood in front of the group of high-powered overachievers he said, “Okay, time for a quiz.”  Then he pulled out a one-gallon, wide-mouthed mason jar and set it on a table in front of him.  Then he produced about a dozen fist-sized rocks and carefully placed them, one at a time, into the jar.  When the jar was
filled to the top and no more rocks would fit inside, he asked, “Is this jar full?”

Everyone in the class said, “Yes.”  Then he said, “Really?”  He reached under the table and pulled out a bucket of gravel.  Then he dumped some gravel in and shook the jar causing pieces of gravel to work themselves down into the spaces between the big rocks.  Then he smiled and asked the group once more, “Is the jar full?”

By this time the class was onto him.  “Probably not,” one of them answered.  “Good!” he replied.  And he reached under the table and brought out a bucket of sand.  He started dumping the sand in and it went into all the spaces left between the rocks and the gravel.

Once more he asked the question, “Is this jar full?”  “No!” the class  shouted.  Once again he said, “Good!”  Then he grabbed a pitcher of water and began to pour it in until the jar was filled to the brim. Then he looked up at the class and asked, “What is the point
of this illustration?”

One eager beaver raised his hand and said, “The point is, no matter how full your schedule is, if you try really hard, you can always fit some more things into it!”

“No,” the speaker replied,” that’s not the point.  The truth this illustration teaches us is: If you don’t put the big rocks in first, you’ll never get them in at all.”

The title of this letter is The “Big Rocks” of Life.  What are the big rocks in your life?  A project that YOU want to accomplish?  Time with your loved ones?  Your faith, your education, your finances?  A cause?  Teaching or mentoring others? Remember to put these BIG ROCKS in first or you’ll never get them in at all.

So, tonight when you are reflecting on this short story, ask yourself this question:  What are the “big rocks” in my life or business? Then, put those in your jar tomorrow.

 

Leaders are Made (NOT Born)

Hola Todos – Mr. Mike has some more “nugget worthy” leadership thoughts for use today.  The first person referenced in the post below is Warren Bennis.  Professor Bennis is to Leadership as Professor Philip Kotler is to Marketing or Vince Lombardi is to Football.  I have an excellent leadership book recommendation by Bennis for a future post.

What I like the most about the post below is that it emphasis that “leaders are made” as leaders learn to become leaders via experience. That statement is 100% within my worldview of servant leadership.  I also like the last Bennis quote as many of the most successful leaders I can think of did not conscientiously start out saying to themselves “I’m going to be a LEADER!”  It just happens – by doing…

Enjoy!

Dr. Dan-o

 

To:  The Great Leaders Who Have a Passion for Continuous Learning

Warren Bennis in his book, On Becoming a Leader, writes that successful people who made it to the top did so “because leaders are made, and made by themselves.” This success comes from the ‘whole-brain’ thinking, moving from principally analytical to more creative thinking – as Bennis says from wearing square hats to sombreros. It is this broader approach in which people begin to find their fullest potential.  They understand that their growth requires new ways of seeing the world.  “It is the individual, operating at the peak of his creative and moral powers, who will revive our organizations by reinventing himself and them” writes Bennis.  They will be innovators and curious, non-linear thinkers.  Like former American Association of University Women executive director, Anne Bryant, they will take themselves and their people on ‘hot air balloon exercises’ to stimulate creative thinking:

“You take people up in an imaginary balloon and from up there you can see the entire entity. Then you examine what you see, who you see, what they’re doing, and what others things they might be doing, You imagine, for instance, what might happen if you put $500,000 toward child development research or what might be done about teen pregnancy.”

Great leaders listen intently and rely on what American author Ralph Waldo Emerson called the ‘blessed impulse,’ the inner voice of intuition. It is a release from linear thinking and allows them to explore alternative scenarios, opens them up to others’ perspectives and with reflection to arrive at a richer, more robust and value-added response.  As Bennis writes:  “No leader sets out to be a leader. People set out to live their lives, expressing themselves fully.  When that expression is of value, they become leaders.”

This week put on your sombrero of a whole-brain thinker.  See the realities of what is, and also the infinite possibilities of what could be.  Take a balloon ride and get a different perspective of the world around you.  Enjoy the view, then change the world!  And have fun doing it.

Have a beautiful day and a fantastic week!!!

Mike

 

Contact Information:

Michael M. Reuter

Director, Center for Leadership Development

Stillman School of Business

Seton Hall University

Tel: (Office) 973.275.2528; (Mobile) 908.419.6060

Email: Michael.Reuter@shu.edu

 

Social Media Platform Smack Down!

Hola Todos!

OK – maybe this is not a “Smack Down” but I think its “nugget worthy” nonetheless.  Infographics are all the rage and this one seems to do a pretty good job.  So how do Google +, Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, and Linkedin (What? No love for StumbleUpon?) stack up?

Check out this Infographic on Mashable.

Enjoy!

Dr. Dan-o