Thursday, February 26, 2015

All "Jean Valjeans" of the Triangle, Please Step Forward

This morning I was reading about a glorious time when an entire people were prosperous.  How we can begin to get to such a place here in the Triangle region of North Carolina?   It's a tall order, but why not shoot for it?

There was a similar people in the book Les Miserables.   How did they get to this point?  It was the work of one man, Jean Valjean.  It was said of him:

"He makes the entire region prosperous. There is no pocket so obscure that it didn’t have a little money in it. No dwelling so low that there wasn’t a little joy within it.


Father Madellan made his fortune but a singular thing and a simple man of business did not seem as though that was his chief care. He seemed to thinking much of others, and little of himself."
So who's willing?  Are you that Jean Valjean for the Triangle?  By the way, we can have more than one in our area.  No need to sign up.  Just get to work.

Monday, October 20, 2014

How to Get a Job: Attempt to Launch Something

Last week I was in my office when a gentleman whom I did not know appeared in my doorway.  He was not there to see me but was knocking on the door of my colleague who's office is across the hall.  I introduced myself and he turned out to be an Elon Alumni coming back to campus for Homecoming.  He works for marketing company, so I invited him to come chat with my Marketing class which was starting later that day.

One takeaway.  As Peter was interviewing for the position the interviewer said, "If you were going to launch a new product, what would it be?"  Peter responded, "Actually I'm working on building an app right now."  The interviewer was very impressed with that and eventually offered him a job. 

Fast forward.  That app idea didn't work out but going through that process shows companies that you are innovative and driven.  Now Peter is doing well at his company.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Pete Rose: A Model for Entrepreneurs

No, I'm not talking about gambling.
From http://reds.enquirer.com/

This is about his records as the all-time Major League leader in hits (4,256) and at-bats (14,053).  You see where this is going.  Mr. Rose stepped up the plate more than any other player. 

What does this mean for me and you?  If you are like me and slightly above average intelligence (though not from Lake Wobegon), then we have to win via hard work and persistence.  You, with your average batting average, have to step up the plate again and again.

Yes, there are outlier entrepreneurs who seem to step up and hit home runs every time they are at the plate.  Don't let that distort the reality that 99.9% of the entrepreneurs learn by striking out again and again.

I suggest that we all can follow Pete's example as a grinder who showed up more than everyone else.  




Thursday, June 5, 2014

Any Major As Long As It's Computer Science

http://communications.webalue.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/Henry-Ford_Model-T.gif"Any color as long as it's black" was Henry Ford's strategy.  When the time is right to share career advice with my 3 children I will say, "Any major as long as it's computer science."  I won't push them, but will definitely show them the benefits.

Every field needs computer scientists.  You want to go into agriculture, health care, education, art, whatever, they all need  wizards with superpowers. Plus you don't have to program your whole life and the base knowledge will enable you to speak with the wizards.  If fact, I will outline benefits in double majoring in Computer Science and whatever interests them.    

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ewOCNfPAgF4/Uthf48I1muI/AAAAAAAAVXM/TS9n-PdfHmQ/s1600/JobsCodeQuote.jpgI was recently chatting with the Dean at a highly ranked business school and he said, "If I hear someone say 'Do What You Love' one more time, I'm going to punch them."  Yes, you can enjoy your work.  But the career management process must be aligned with real world demand.

Majoring in computer science could be your path to solving the problems in the world that keep you up at night. 


Saturday, December 21, 2013

The Odds Are Always in Our Favor

http://blog.zap2it.com/pop2it/hunger-games-catching-fire-comic-con-jennifer-lawrence-katniss-peeta-full.jpg
While I'm not a huge Hunger Games fan, I did see it twice at the theaters in less than a week.  Once with my Dad during our Thanksgiving trip and once on a romantic date with Angie to Southpoint.

"Control" is lesson we must learn as parents, people managers at work, and church leaders.  No one likes to be coersed and I continually learn this lesson as a father when I choose to physically pick up my kids and force them to brush their teeth or whatever task we need to do at the time.  It's a short term fix and taking time to teach them to fish is the better choice.  As Peeta said, "...our lives aren't just measured in years. The measure in our lives are the people we touch around us."     

Coersion is not the way of the Lord.  Obviously there's a stark contrast between President Snow in the Capital and the way our Our Father in Heaven operates.  Here on earth we have agency to choose and God's hand is continually "stretched out still" (Isaiah 9) when we need him.

With the help of heaven, the odds are always in our favor.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

"We teach computer science here..."

Lately I've been involved in discussions with educational leaders about the upcoming 1,000,000 jobs gap in computer science careers.

Why we have this gap became clearer on Friday.  I was visiting a high school and asked a teacher if they taught computer science classes in the high school.  He said, "Yes, we teach computer science here.  Mr. Smith he teaches Microsoft Word.  Mrs. Lee she teaches Excel."

We need your help.  This is a boots on the ground effort with Superintendents, Principals, Counselors, CTE coordinators, and Parents all getting pumped to produce more students with "SuperPowers." 

If you are involved in a high school in any way, will you watch the video above starring Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerburg, Will.i.am, and Chris Bosh and bring up the discussion with your school administrators?


Thursday, December 5, 2013

Why Education?

It's taken me 15 years to realize my professional purpose in life is to solve problems in education.  Why education?  This quote about Jean Valjean from Les Miserables sums it up best.  It's about providing
sustainability for people.  May we all play a role in this great cause.

"He makes the entire region prosperous. There is no pocket so obscure that it didn’t have a little money in it. No dwelling so low that there wasn’t a little joy within it.

Father Madellan made his fortune but a singular thing and a simple man of business did not seem as though that was his chief care. He seemed to thinking much of others, and little of himself."