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Environment, Ethics, Events, leadership, Newsroom

L2L Summit Asks Students “Leadership. Why me? Why now?”

Saturday March 1 marked the date of the Fourth Annual Learners to Leaders Summit. The annual summit is a unique event hosted by the Opus College of Business but targeted to a wide range of future professionals with connections to area colleges, including current juniors and seniors, as well as recent grads. The mission of L2L? To provide high-potential students and young professionals of color with perspective and resources that will position them for success in graduate school and in their careers.

The theme of this year’s summit was “Leadership. Why me? Why now?” The theme was chosen as a reflection of the reality that while everyone is capable of playing a valuable leadership role, it’s all too common to assume that the responsibility of leadership belongs to someone else, based on title, personality, or amount of past experience.

Did this year’s L2L Summit achieve its objective of providing content relevant and valuable to future graduate students from a broad range of backgrounds and interests? Here’s what some of the participants had to say.

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Career Services, leadership, Newsroom, OCB Commentary

14 Tips to Find Passion and Purpose in Your Work


For many, an occupation is just that, a job and a paycheck.  The majority of the population will have to work 40+ years, for some even longer, before the possibility of retirement is an option.  Winning the lottery, or receiving an inheritance are pipe dreams for those looking to get out of a dead end job. But for those who have found occupations that offer meaningful challenges, opportunities for growth and play up an individual’s passions, counting the days until a possible retirement seem far less important.

“Few people discover the work they love,” writes Lance Secretan in his book, Inspirational Leadership.

Many professionals have long since faced the facts that finding a meaningful position is a dream long since given up.  These individuals measure each day by a clock hanging on the wall and count the hours, minutes, seconds, until the work day is over.  Finding passion in one’s occupation can be difficult, but not impossible.

Kenneth A. Tucker, Coauthor of Animals, Inc, states:

Simply put, passion, or its absence, isn’t just a philosophical or psychological matter — it’s a business problem, too. Far too many companies lack employees who are passionate about their work, and they flounder, or just get by. Continue Reading

EveningMBA, leadership, Newsroom, OCB Commentary

Opus Magnum Top 10 of 2012: #2

Our second-most popular post of 2012 in our Opus Magnum top ten countdown was by Evening UST MBA student Vitaly Demin, a strategy consultant at Eames Management Group and co-founder of the Russian technology blog Gridder.ru. Vitaly asked, “Is Success in Management a Right- or Left-Brain Strength?” He broke down his answer by looking at some pf the major players in the electronics industry and their success in the past year.

The era of left brain success is ending. It’s not as critical for B2B organizations because success in this space is mostly determined by professional relationships and pricing. B2C companies on the other hand deal with millions of consumers worldwide and that’s where left brain executives struggle the most. They don’t understand how consumers perceive companies and brands, and they never will because that’s simply how their minds operate. If all these left brain B2C companies don’t add right brain power to their executive tier, we will soon see more business failures than ever before because the new era of right brain management is coming.

Ethics, Newsroom, OCB Commentary, real estate

The Making of a Walmart Shopper

From Flickr user laurieofindy

I’m admitting something that may cause some of my friends to hate and shun me.  Others will try to change my mind, citing all the politically correct reasons why Walmart is evil incarnate.  I know I’ve crossed a line where some of you can’t and won’t follow.  But, in my little community – the southeastern-most section of Brooklyn Center – Walmart has become one of the places I frequent.

To be honest, the first time I wheeled into the new Walmart in Brooklyn Center this September, I wanted to hate it. Because it occupied the site of my former beloved Brookdale Mall. The working class version of Southdale, it of the famed animal-themed parking signs.

But, as I slowly explored the massive aisles and sections of the new Walmart superstore, it felt like I’d returned to my childhood. It brought to mind pleasant memories of the old Woolworth’s store at Brookdale and the Zayre Shopper’s City on Osseo Road (preceding Brooklyn Blvd.) and 63rd – places my sisters worked during high school. Continue Reading

leadership, Local business, Newsroom, OCB Commentary

5 Twin Cities Holiday “Experiences” You Can Give This Year

This post, by Timothy Huebsch is republished from the Leadership and Community blog.

Snow has finally arrived.  In my mind this is what really triggers the holiday season.  As I shoveled snow last weekend, it made me reflect on the holiday season and think about the gifts that I need to find in the next few weeks.

Everywhere you look you see ads for new electronics, toys, and clothes.  Speaking for myself, the things I remember most from my past are not the physical gifts but much more the experiences. The great thing is that we live in a community where there are countless opportunities to create an experience for others that will help them see a new part of the community and spend time together with others.  It could be an  event you choose to do with them or you can be the conduit by giving them tickets to do it with someone else.  The great side benefit this has for the community is that it allows people to try something new and then share the story with countless other friends.  In effect you are creating ambassadors that help spread the word throughout the community.

The options are countless —  Here are a five that come to mind that are worth considering: Continue Reading

Ethics, leadership, Newsroom, OCB Commentary

Effective Feedback: How to Criticize Your Friends – and Still Keep Them

Long ago, I volunteered at a summer camp that taught leadership skills. One of those skills we worked on developing as camp staff was providing effective feedback, or as we put it, how to criticize your friends – and still keep them. The first lesson we learned: start by saying something nice or positive. Here’s a little more from the Pine Tree Web about the basis for effective evaluation:

The process of evaluation helps to set and maintain standards of performance, to measure progress, to identify areas for improvement, to recognize achievement, and to motivate.

These skills have served me professionally as well. As a manager it is important to balance your (high) expectations of employees and their morale. It is also wise to understand the strengths of your team members. Even if two people have the same title/job does that mean they should both be doing identical work? Understanding their strengths and weaknesses (and your own, for that matter) will allow you to give better feedback, positive or negative. Continue Reading

Centers, Ethics, Newsroom

The Business Case for Teamwork Skills

This post, by Neil Hamilton and Verna Monson, Ph.D. comes from the Holloran Center for Ethical Leadership blog and was published in Minnesota Lawyer on April 16, 2012

Over a century ago, entrepreneur Andrew Carnegie observed “Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision – the ability to direct individual accomplishment toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.” Lawyers seek to obtain uncommon results for each client, and an effective lawyer has to develop excellent skills to work as a team both with each client and with the lawyers, staff, and others to address the client’s objectives efficiently.

This essay reviews highlights of empirical research on the importance of teamwork skills for the individual lawyer and for the law firm or law department. We then summarize the major findings of scholarly work on both the essential elements necessary for effective teamwork and dispel some myths about teamwork. Continue Reading

Newsroom, OCB Commentary

Is Success in Management a Right- or Left-Brain Strength?

This post is by Evening UST MBA student Vitaly Demin, a strategy consultant at Eames Management Group and co-founder of the Russian technology blog Gridder.ru.

Every day we read many articles that analyze strategic business mistakes made by large corporations worldwide. Some of these articles make sense, some don’t but the bottom line is that most of these articles focus on certain details and not the big picture.

The reality is that there’s just one high level reason for most of the mistakes that were made in the last decade or so. All these failing companies are managed by left brain executives.

The only right brain CEO the world has recently seen was Steve Jobs and the only reason he could take Apple where it is today was his executive power to control every little detail of every single product. His right brain holistic picture allowed him to correctly visualize the future and point the company in the right direction.

Unfortunately for large organizations, today most are managed by left brain executives. This happens for two reasons: these corporations were either started by left brain types (i.e. Larry Page and Sergei Brin of Google) or the power has been transferred to them by a left brain founder (Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates of Microsoft). Because these companies were the first ones in their industries and were so successful, they have built so much brand equity and financial power that they were on the roll for a very long time. But they world has changed. The competition of right brain thinkers who are not afraid to think different and are able see the holistic picture of their industries are stealing away the business from large corporations as the latter struggle to figure out the right away to move the company into the future.

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Centers, leadership, Newsroom, OCB Commentary

Twelve Statements to Ponder as You Build Your D&I Leadership Potential

This guest post from Richard Friend, Ph.D., Friend and Associates originally appeared on the Multicultural Forum blog.

MCFIf leadership involves the use of self to influence others, and leaders at their best are lifelong learners, this is the perfect time of year to commit to the ongoing self-development required to enhance YOUR diversity and inclusion (D&I) leadership potential. Below are 12 statements to ponder, one per month, over the next year. Explore each statement in writing then discuss them and solicit feedback from your colleagues, trusted friends, family members and from those whose followership you are trying to inspire and mobilize. Pay attention to the themes that emerge each month as you contemplate each of the statements, and notice the patterns that surface during this year long self-reflection process.

Since people follow people before they follow plans, leadership development at its core is a journey inward. The first set of statements focus on knowing yourself, building authenticity and aligning your actions with your values. The remaining few focus more outward on the leadership resources required to influence others. Continue Reading

Faculty, FTMBA, Newsroom

Faculty Profile: Dr. Teresa Rothausen-Vange

Susan E. Heckler Endowed Chair in Management

vange-teresaIf you are a CPA or an aspiring CPA and you feel daunted by the exams, consider yourself lucky that at least you can take the exams electronically. Dr. Teresa Rothausen-Vange attained her CPA, passing all four exams on her first attempt, using pencil and paper.

Dr. Rothausen-Vange’s bachelor’s degree was in economics from St. Olaf, and her Ph.D. was in human resources and industrial relations from the University of Minnesota. She began her career at Arthur Andersen & Co and has taught at Texas A&M and the University of Minnesota prior to beginning what has been 14 years of excellent pedagogy in the Opus College of Business (OCB) at St. Thomas. Continue Reading