Why I do have this website?
I have been a business professor since 1981—but before even that I was an aspiring young psychology instructor. I guess you could say that an interest in people and what they do comes naturally to—or, at least, can be traced back to my early career. Indeed, today I spend most of my time and energy in the field of marketing considering what in the business we call consumer behavior!
[Although in the academic and real worlds of business we frequently start our strategizing, planning, and management frameworks generally around getting the "customer" to know about and understand the "company," I think it could be argued that at the heart of all good business and marketing is first a well-founded understanding of the consumer!]
This interest in what makes people do what they do, all leading up to buying--or not buying--likely stems from my professional start in life as a “Dr. Phil” psychologist—which came even before becoming a full-fledged academic. This means I begin understanding all management activities by considering what people are like at their core interests, desires, hopes, dreams, motivations--and what makes them do what they do. In the end, all good marketing activity ought to be, at some fundamental level, directed at influencing people--and markets, more generally--to consider buying goods, services, and ideas that fit their view of the world...and how such transactions help them full-fill their existing core interests, desires, hopes, dreams, and motivations!
Beyond these high-sounding explanations, I have always enjoyed the part of being a professor that comes with serving college and university students of business. After all, it is easy to figure out what these people want: They are "on the hunt" for a rewarding career in the world of commerce—as managers, entrepreneurs, leaders of others and influencers of market conditions. The part I play as an educator is rewarding because I'm able to shape their outlook and skills--their know-what and know-how--in a context that few other professionals have to do.
From what I can tell, most of the work other types of professionals do, say, lawyers and physicians, is help people who are in a jam of one sort of another [yes, I do know that there are exceptions to this observation--but they are just that: exceptions!]. By contrast, my job as a professor invites me to help individuals leverage their natural abilities for success at both a personal and professional level. In effect, I get to work with people who have the prospect of a very bright and rewarding future ahead of them--I get to play a part in their preparation and, albeit a small part, in their subsequent successes in life!
In a more general sense, I welcome the chance to interact with students of all types—even outside of a formal classroom setting—people, in effect, who are curious about how the world of business “works” and who seek to understand and influence it—as well as, in an ideal world, profit from doing that in the process! Even though I presently spend most of my waking hours and days Bryant University’s Associate Dean of the College of Business, that is the reason why I decided to write this blog!
In truth, there is a second reason that I write this blog--and it pertains to all the great teachers and professors I have had in my life. When I reflect on the people who went to work each day with the avowed goal of helping me succeed in achieving my personal best, I am inspired and humbled by all the terrific individuals I have had in my life...people who decided to cast their professional time and energies to helping me be successful in my life and career.
There are too many to mention by name and contribution, but is it the impact of these people on my personal and professional life that prompt me to want to be that kind of person for others. Indeed, I am inspired to "pay it forward," not just in a lecture hall, but in a venue like this.
In truth, I have learned a great deal from both my professors AND my students over the years I've been both a student and a professor. Those friendships that have been cultivated along the way have prompted me to continue that learning relationship in a variety of ways--and this web-site is one of those avenues!
Making the circle complete
In the spirit of continuing the process of taking advice, learning about new ideas, seeing new POVs, and generally having my horizons widen by students and others I've met during my professional life, the following decision was easy to make: I decided to make space available...to list what are some of the more useful, interesting websites my viewers and readers have offered--these are displayed for all to see and, potentially, benefit from as well! I say, let the classroom come to order and the lessons begin.