MBA Principles That Help You During the Pandemic

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Want to take control of your life during crisis? Watch this expert interview, and discover the MBA principles that can help you land a dream job, improve relationship, and be a better parent during the pandemic.
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Interview Text

Hello everyone Today we have James McHann with us. He is a professor, consultant, and coach in strategy, leadership and change. He is a Fulbright scholar and currently a visiting professor at Purdue University, Fort Wayne. He has an upcoming book titled “The Three Horizons: Strategic Thinking for Personal and Professional success.” So welcome, James.

Thank you, Ivy. It’s nice to be with you this afternoon.

Okay, so there’s the Coronavirus pandemic, everyone is suffering. A lot of people are looking for new job opportunities. So what MBA principles can you share to help people land their dream jobs in the middle of a crisis?

Well, in time like this natural human tendency is to think oh, mine. Things are so bad. We’re in lockdown, quarantine. The economy is tanking, 40 million people are unemployed, is the worst time in the world for me to be thinking about my future, about my dream job, about what I want my life to be in the future. And actually, we should not be seduced into thinking that way. That’s actually the worst thing we could possibly do during this particular time. Instead, this is exactly the time when we should strive very hard to look into the future, and begin to envision who we want to be in the future, what we want to accomplish, what we want our dream job and our dream career to be like. You know, the title of my book, The Three Horizons, is a reference to the three time horizons that we must each strategically think, lead and manage, through we need to lead and manage our lives from the past, through the present and into the future. And research tells us that consciously and unconsciously, most individuals in most organizations are dominated by the horizon of the past. That’s how we tend to think. Secondarily, the horizon of the present and last the horizon of the future. But logic tells us it should be the exact opposite. You’re driving your car. If you’re driving your car down the highway at 70 or 80 miles an hour, it’s a curving country road. You don’t want to spend most of your time looking in your rear view mirror. Secondarily, looking at your side mirrors, and only Lastly, glancing from time to time through your front windshield. Looking down the highway, you want to do the opposite. You want to primarily look far down the road. glance at your side mirrors from time to time and once in a while, check your rear view mirror. So what we really need to do during this difficult time is not get depressed about all of our current problems. Instead, we should fill our minds and our hearts with our dreams for the future. Because the more we research that dream job in the future, dream career, dream life, we want to have, the more we find out about it.

but we talk about it with other people, the more we strive to actually have it dominate our thinking. And what takes place is that expectations are created, and they’re built up our minds change, and in mysterious ways that none of us quite understand, but are true for both individuals and organizations. Those powerful expectations begin to actually create the future as it emerges in front of us. So this is the best time of all, to put a lot of attention on our future dreams.

Okay. Planning. Okay, so career it’s a one thing that’s on people’s mind. And another thing is about family relationships. Everybody’s moving back home multi generations. What’s a business principles that people can apply to improve their relationships at home?

Well, it’s another strange situation here where this quarantine period seems to be a time where people are out of their normal routines. I seen stories on news programs or social media of people talking about how well all of a sudden, instead of all of our family members going in different directions, each person doing their own individual thing. We’re stuck in quarantine. We’re sitting around looking at each other. You know, we’re watching a lot more TV, more Netflix, more social media, more individual gaming and People are, you know, getting irritable with each other and crabby. So that seems to be a pretty common problem. But actually this is another golden opportunity for each one of us. A strategic principle that good leaders and managers must employ, whether for their own life or for leading and managing a family, or leading and managing a multinational corporation is that we must lead and manage on the foundations of integrity, trust, and interdependent relationships. That’s the foundation for all of our leading and managing that’s what MBA programs strive more than anything else to teach their students. Regardless of all the special functional skills that you need to acquire. The most important thing is to understand the importance of integrity trust interdependent relationships. And actually this, this is something we can learn in practice best in our families. And this quarantine period is locked down time. It’s instead of a bad time, it’s actually a great time for us to practice.

You know, having improved relationships inside of our homes. And the best way to do that. How do we do that is to focus upon our listening skills to practice our listening skills. There are a couple of axioms that I constantly teach my students. One is, seek first to understand, you know, listen carefully, seek first to understand, then to be understood. That’s actually the opposite of almost everybody’s default practice. But in reality, that’s exactly how we build strong, trusting, respectful, interdependent relationships. I know there axiom that I constantly teach is the famous saying, ask and listen. So you can learn and lead. And as we listen better to our family members, we develop better relationships. We enjoy those relationships better, and we actually take care of each other’s health. This time of lockdown quarantine is actually a time of great isolation for a lot of people. There are many reports out there some studies, suicide rates are climbing, certainly depression is getting serious. And if you get a chance, so Ivy, go on to YouTube here very soon. And check out a video that’s gone viral. It’s not a long video, but it’s a video titled dog see what is the exact title. His son died of COVID 19th his son died of COVID-19 and the twist to the video That the sun didn’t really die directly of COVID-19. But the sun This video was done by a father a couple of days after he buried his son, who was a happy, well adjusted young man, a teenager. But during this whole time of quarantine and lockdown and lice elation, he became progressively more depressed in the isolation. And in an impulsive moment, he committed suicide. And this video is about that. It’s a poignant, difficult story to listen to. But it’s extremely instructive for every one of us. And it shouldn’t be a wake up call. It should be a motivation to want to reach out to our family members and our close friends, to practice our listening skills to develop our trust in our interdependent relationships. And to make something good come out of this whole pandemic experience. We’re going through,

I would definitely check out that video that sounds very emotional. It’s going to help a lot of people about really communicate well and understand and support each other. And since we talked about their father leaving the son, how about any advice for parenting? You know, parents are homeschooling, we’re not supervising. It’s a lot of stress, being a counselor to them and cheerleader as well. So what do you recommend? Well,

it’s very true. A lot of parents are in under great stress right now because the schools are closed. And of course, there’ll be closed all through the summer, and many schools may not open up in the fall we just don’t know about that. I I’ve heard many parents talk about. They’re extremely worried about whether the schools will open in the fall because they barely been able to cope with what has happened here in the latest Spring, because you know, K to 12 schools, they were just not prepared as much as higher education to switch rapidly to online or virtual learning. And so all of a sudden, the children are at home. And the teachers try to do what they can, but they’re not trained or prepared for, you know, vigorous online education. So they’re doing what they can. And they’re sending homework assignments home to the parents and asking them to do things with the kids and coach the kids in this way, get them to do this or get them to do that. And, you know, many parents see dad and it’s pulling their hair out, you know, because they don’t feel like they’re trained to do that. And also, you know, if they’re working parents, well, there’s a time issue and there’s an energy issue. So it’s presenting a big problem. But again, the right thing for us to do is to think strategically and see what Looks like a problem is really a golden opportunity. Because in reality, none of us should ever have developed the mindset, the paradigm, the mental model, that the teachers in the public schools are primarily responsible to educate our children. They’re not. That’s our responsibility. We, as parents are primarily responsible to educate our children. Now, of course, there’s a time issue and energy issue or training issue. And because we have many good public and private schools out there, we send our kids to school during the day we go to work. And we, in a sense, delegate to teachers in the school system, a lot of the work of teaching our children but we should never abdicate our responsibility. So in this time that we have an opportunity to start working with our students in ways that try to be helpful to them. We need to come up with strategies, plans, action steps to over the summer help our students get into a program of self learning. And then when we go back in the fall, if the schools are closed, or if they’re virtual, or even if the school and then we are back to normal, we should seek to have a new normal and the new normal should be. We are responsible for our children’s education. We think about it. We work with our students, we guide it, we encourage them we coach them, even if to some degree or the other. We delegate to teachers in the school system, a lot of the time and energy that must go into there. We want to know that we want our students to know that we are the ones who are trying to develop their values, their insights, their understandings their skills from living life. We’re not, you know, depositing them at the public school and looking at to the school, in effect, to raise our children that we love so much. So that would be my thought on the parenting issue.

So much Professor James McHann and we’ve learned a lot about landing a dream job you know, improve our family relationships, and also about parenting. Best of luck to you. We’ll be looking out for your new book, The Three Horizons: Strategic Thinking for Personal and Professional Success. Thank you so much. Thank you, Dr. Ge.

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Dr. Ivy Ge

Dr. Ivy Ge

Doctor of Pharmacy, author of The Art of Good Enough. She writes to inspire women to design their own fate. Her writings and interviews have been featured on MSNBC, Thrive Global, Working Mother magazine, Parentology, and The Times of India.

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