Douglas D. Anderson
It has been a fascinating experience to see the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business take flight on our “journey to top tier.” Effective, challenging programs for our students and innovative ideas and contributions from our friends and alumni have combined to give us the initial thrust to get us airborne. We knew from the start our job would involve more than picking a flight plan and getting off the ground, however.
Maintaining strong momentum and keeping things aloft requires us to be able to adjust to changing conditions as we keep balance and gain altitude. We know if we are to soar, we must continue to effectively generate and channel the contributions of many individuals, including our students.
That’s why at the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business our “required reading” this year is Lift: Becoming a Positive Force in Any Situation. The book, written by Ryan W. Quinn and Robert E. Quinn, offers valuable insight on how to lift not only ourselves but those around us. I highly recommend its reading to the entire Huntsman School community.
The psychological state the authors call lift occurs when people are “purpose centered, internally directed, other focused and externally open.” Using anecdotes and citing academic and case studies, Lift describes the energy and focus that can come from having specific, challenging goals and a strong sense of purpose. It emphasizes the strength and freedom that comes from being guided by internal, changeless principles. It explores the benefits of showing empathy and genuinely caring about the feelings and needs of others in the workplace. It discusses research that indicates people who believe they can change are open to valuable feedback and new ideas because they want to continually progress. And, it predicts the kinds of things that can happen when good and talented people are committed to a cause and know how to support each other in their efforts.
The authors acknowledge it is not easy to bring these four elements together. They suggest we ask ourselves four questions to help us stay on track. They are as follows:
Lift reminds us of fundamental principles of integrity and compassion that we sometimes overlook, but which, when practiced, enable us to become much more effective in whatever leadership situation we find ourselves—whether at work, at school, in the community or at home. I believe our major accomplishments as a school are a result of the many contributions of individuals who lift others and themselves in the process.
There are few people who have consistently done as much as Jon M. Huntsman to lift those around them. In this issue of the Huntsman Alumni Magazine, you’ll read of his announcement in April 2009 to fund two $1.5 million presidential chairs at the Huntsman School of Business. This is truly a wonderful gift and will greatly assist us in our efforts to recruit additional world-class faculty. You’ll also read about the five new professors we have recently hired and how we expect they will contribute to our momentum.
This edition also highlights the impressive 21st Annual Shingo Prize for Operational Excellence Conference in Nashville, Tenn., that featured keynote addresses from best-selling author, Stephen R. Covey, and Ritsuo Shingo, the former president of Toyota China and son of Shigeo Shingo. Our Shingo Prize for Operational Excellence is named after the late industrial engineer Shigeo Shingo.
I see the concept of lift in the passion and innovative work our faculty does.
I notice it daily in the energy that infuses the hallways and
classrooms of the
Huntsman School of Business.
Perhaps most importantly, I see lift reflected in the positive impact our students have as they go out to influence the world around them.
— Dean Douglas D. Anderson
There are many other examples of lift that occur each semester. Last June I witnessed lift firsthand in China when I joined 32 of our top students who were participating in a terrific hands-on global-enrichment learning experience. In this edition, you’ll get to hear from three members of our National Advisory Board who went to Peru and were put to work, serving alongside our students.
You’ll read about Scott Huskinson of Reminderband and ifrogz and how he’s lifted his manufacturing partners in China by treating them with respect and trust. Take a look at the story about Mark and Wendi Holland and how they work at maintaining their priorities and balance in their lives. And if you want a story about some real lift, you can read about emeritus professor Phil Swensen and his hobby that literally lifts him off the ground.
I see the concept of lift in the passion and innovative work our faculty does. I notice it daily in the energy that infuses the hallways and classrooms of the Huntsman School of Business. Perhaps most importantly, I see lift reflected in the positive impact our students have as they go out to influence the world around them.
Our greatest rewards come when we can see our students go beyond lift, sustain their own momentum and soar into positive uncharted territory. That’s when it becomes clear to all of us that lift is only the beginning.