Are you generally optimistic, hopeful, and resilient? Or are you pessimistic, fatalistic, and defensive? As it turns out, your answer has big implications. Having a positive psychological orientation improves work performance, job satisfaction, and overall happiness.
Greetings from Bordeaux, France, where I am in the final days of a business trip for Sonoma State University. Prior to leaving, when I told my colleagues about my busy itinerary, they were completely unsympathetic.
You are connected to a network of prominent leaders in business, government and non-profit organizations representing every sector of our economy. You have access to a pool of high-potential managers with advanced business training, many of whom are open to new employment opportunities. You are tapped into a reservoir of expertise in every business discipline and in numerous industries. Are you actively engaging the Sonoma MBA alumni network of resources? If not, what is going on? I am in the privileged position to know many of you quite well, so I know the value of this network and use it regularly. This post explores five reasons why some of you may undervalue this network, and makes the case for reconsidering this situation.
There are compelling reasons for promoting women into organizational leadership roles. A well-known study concluded that gender (and racial) diversity on corporate boards has positive impacts on both ROI and ROA (Erhardt, et al, 2003). Why aren't more women applying for MBA programs and what can we do about it?
Devastating fires traumatized our community. The web of support in our North Bay region for responding to and recovering from a disaster strengthened, building confidence that our region will emerge from this disaster with greater resilience. What lessons can those of us with MBAs take from this experience?
A surprising career path that many of our graduates have embarked upon is the path of entrepreneurship. The most important theory of entrepreneurship that you never heard of (but is known by every scholarly researcher of the field) is called "effectuation".
In 2000, I shut down a lucrative business (sales and marketing of computerized industrial equipment), built over 15 years, that provided a great lifestyle. I rarely needed to work 40 hours per week, and had complete control of my schedule. I gave that up for a role in higher education in which I was working twice (or more) as many hours for one-third the compensation. I still work more and earn less than I did in the late 90s. What gives?
There is an optimal level of stress that brain researchers call "eustress". Less than that and you may not be motivated enough to perform at your best. More than that and you become less productive and head toward burnout. In eustress, managers and leaders feel a compelling sense of purpose that is motivating and energizing.
In the late nineties, I worked about 25 hours per week and earned more than I make now. I achieved work life balance! But that work had no personal meaning beyond supporting my family. In 2000, I decided to become an educational entrepreneur. My new work was very meaningful, but in short order it was also burning me out. That is when I started my journey of re-establishing work life balance at a greater level of work responsibility.