I have just finished teaching a course in family business in Dubai, a business oasis of 3 million people, a city-state with daringly designed high rises and bustling commerce on the Arabian Gulf. For four days, this open and eager group of 75 mostly middle-eastern young men and women engaged in vigorous exchange. Each of them wrote a personal account of their family businesses, and their stories gave me a window into the challenges of a poor and tradition-bound family struggling forward to enter a global, technical commercial world. In a...
“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” — Seneca I often encounter people I admire who seem extremely lucky in getting a great job, regular promotions, and seemingly unlimited professional success. For the most part, I believe these people earned this fate through taking responsibility for their luck. What I mean by taking responsibility is that they are doing the work necessary to be lucky in their careers. In psychologist Richard Wiseman’s book “The Luck Factor,” he studied...
Do you think much about your choice of terms, the language you use? How these influence the ways you think? How the ways you think influences your worldview and the choices available to you? How this leads to the behaviors you choose (consciously or unconsciously)? Linguists have long argued about whether language “causes” us to think in certain ways. Lera Boroditsky (University of California San Diego, formerly of Stanford) has been conducting research for several years on questions such as these. You can find articles by and...
This month I travelled to Finland for a conference on Culture, Values, and Justice. An interesting group of scholars attended who were exploring the many aspects, interrelationships, and applications of ideas that comprise these three areas. To me, these three subjects and their interrelationships suggest three questions that define the nature of being human. Who are we? What do we hold as important? How do we participate in our relationships in a way that upholds our humanness? These are not questions that are easy to...
Summer is approaching, my backyard has come to life with the lush greenery of late Spring in northeast Ohio, our youngest daughter just graduated high school, and as I take a moment to reflect, interrupting my accustomed pattern of research, gardening, and violin practice, it suddenly occurs to me: By this time next week I will be in Milan with my family beginning a long anticipated three-week journey through Bella Italia. Having spent the past few months with my nose in the books, exploring various theoretical constructs and...
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