Huntsman Alumni Magazine

Fall 2009

New book teaches faculty, staff and students to generate “lift.”

Student reading

Attending the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business is about to become an uplifting experience.

Not that it hasn’t been a positive experience before; it’s just that this year if students and faculty take the required reading to heart, even the word lift will have added meaning. In fact, students, faculty and staff will all be trying to experience lift.

The required reading book this year is Lift: Becoming a Positive Force in Any Situation by Ryan W. Quinn and Robert E. Quinn. The book teaches that if four factors are present in anyone’s life, that person can become a positive influence on those around them. A person experiences lift, as the authors describe it, when they are centered on their ultimate purpose and are acting accordingly. They must also be directed by internal values, sensitive to the feelings of others and open to external feedback that makes personal growth possible.

The book shares anecdotes and cites academic and case studies that indicate there are great benefits that come from bringing these four elements together individually and in an organization.

One of the book’s authors, Robert E. Quinn, a distinguished professor at the University of Michigan, facilitated a faculty retreat in August 2009 where his research was discussed and the applications of the book’s central messages were explored.

“All of us are regularly, if not constantly, teaching others on the basis of who we are, and all of us have a choice: We can choose to be the kind of people who drag others down or to be the kind of people who lift,” Quinn said.