There is no question about it: being a college or university president is hard. And, it is getting harder. These deepening challenges mean the time has come to re-think how we view this critical role in educating the next generation. I believe we need to consider the deployment of a different leadership paradigm for some institutions moving forward: co-presidencies.
As a management consultant, I talk about money all day. Since it’s my client’s money—not my own—these conversations are more transactional than emotional; they’re not personal, it’s business. When I talk about my own money (particularly my book money), however, it’s entirely different. Offering even cursory details has the air of confession; I feel exposed, vulnerable and can barely choke out words. I’d rather describe my darkest, dirtiest sexual fantasies than tell you how much I’ve earned writing novels. But this essay is about my corporate career, which means it’s mostly about money; to tell it right I have to come clean.
A few weeks ago, I met a woman (let’s call her Andrea) who doesn’t believe transgender people deserve special protections, either at her company or under the law. She made this clear during an industry conference on discrimination and diversity. The moderator had been explaining how many Fortune 500 firms were adopting policies on restroom usage with the goal of inclusivity, when Andrea suddenly interrupted her.
Two years ago, over Christmas, I was on a beach in the Philippines. It was a deserted beach, and this lady just decorated her beachfront with things made out of natural materials: silver stars wrapped with aluminum foil, straws made of bamboo, bowls made of coconut shell... People were crafty, resourceful. With no money, they were able to make something out of nothing. At the time, my partner was writing a blog. He asked me, if I’d write something, what would it be? I thought, it would be about crafts, and travel. That’s how we came up with the name Crafty Nomad.
It was the end of 1994 and fresh out of college, I was hired for my first UX role as a research consultant. I proudly started out in the workforce as a “human factors engineer.” In today’s parlance, I was neither doing human factors nor anything related to engineering, but the evolution of UX terminology is a story for another day.
The advertising world is increasingly talking about experiences. Whether that be people desiring and valuing experiences more than they do things. Or how experiences are a greater driver of growth than traditional advertising as people tune out or block advertising.
First, a story. While working at the HQ of a large clothing manufacturer in San Francisco my supervisor, one day, hauled off and smacked me on my bald head exclaiming, “Duh!” when he perceived that I wasn’t comprehending what he’d said fast enough. This was witnessed by several co-workers, by the way. About a week later I ended up in ICU/CCU for 3 days with what was thought to be a heart attack from the stress the incident had caused me.