Global Philanthropist and Humanitarian Bita Daryabari Will Receive Honorary Doctorate and Deliver Golden Gate University’s 2018 Commencement Address

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Bita Daryabari will receive an Honorary Doctorate and deliver the commencement address at Golden Gate University’s Graduate Commencement Ceremony on April 27, 2018. A global philanthropist and humanitarian, she received a master’s degree in Telecommunication Management from GGU in 1996. After graduating, Daryabari joined GammmaLink, Inc., one of the early pioneers in the field of telecommunications. She later moved to MCI Communications where she received distinguished awards and recognition for her work on more than one occasion.

Philanthropist and Humanitarian

Daryabari has had a long-standing passion for increasing knowledge of the culture of her native Iran, as well as improving the lives of people from Iran and beyond. Her vast charitable work includes establishing the Unique Zan Foundation, whose mission is to promote health, literacy, and peace for women in and from the Middle East. She also launched the Pars Equality Center, a community foundation that supports the full integration of people of Persian (Iranian) origin in the U.S. — including refugees, asylees, immigrants, and the American-born — and to advocate for their perspectives in American society. She works to create a more just and compassionate community in which Iranians of all cultures and beliefs can participate.

In gratitude for her GGU graduate education experience, Daryabari established the GGU Bita Daryabari Endowed Fund for Middle Eastern Students, which supports a scholarship for graduate business students born in a Middle Eastern country, and a graduate law fellowship for lawyers who reside in a Middle Eastern country. She has also endowed GGU with the Bita Daryabari Scholarship Program for Women of the Middle East in Business and Law.

“Bita Daryabari exemplifies Golden Gate University’s mission to prepare individuals to lead and serve,” says GGU President David J. Fike, Ph.D. “She is an inspirational alumnus, not only for what she has achieved in her career but also for her rich legacy of giving back and helping others get ahead. Bita is at the forefront of supporting immigrants in the U.S., and her leadership in expanding access to U.S. education for students from the Middle East is unparalleled. Her establishment of the Bita Daryabari Graduate Fellowship and the Bita Daryabari Scholarship at GGU are only two of many examples of her generosity and commitment to higher learning. GGU is honored to have Bita share her wisdom, optimism, and enthusiasm for positive change with our 2018 graduates.”

I vowed that I would use my influence and resources to create positive change in the world, as I don’t believe any child should have to live in a war zone.

Bita Daryabari (MS ’96)

Awards and Honors

Daryabari’s awards and honors include the World Affair Council Honoree of the year (2015), Ellis Island Medal of Honor (2012), the United Nations Appreciation Award for Outstanding Leadership, Commitment and Support of the UN and Achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals (2011), PAAIA Philanthropist of the Year Award (2010), and GGU’s Alumni of the Year Award (2008). Gentry magazine also listed her among the Top 50 Bay Area Philanthropists (2015).

Creating Positive Change

As an immigrant who came to the U.S. at the age of 16 with virtually nothing to my name, I worked my way up through the telecommunications industry,” Daryabari says. “I was also fortunate enough to be part of the Google family during its inception, which resulted in my journey into philanthropy. I vowed that I would use my influence and resources to create positive change in the world, as I don’t believe any child should have to live in a war zone.”

She adds: “I hope to convey to this next generation: that anything is possible if one applies himself or herself; and I see my story is a living example. I also want to put emphasis on the importance of our daily intentions and relationships. These are the most important aspects that determine the outcome of our life stories.”

GGU Seminar Series Addresses Cryptocurrency, Business Analytics, Sexual Harassment, and Other Timely Subjects


The Ageno School of Business is offering Innovation in Practice, a seminar series that covers timely, interdisciplinary, and applied topics. All currently registered Ageno School of Business graduate students who take at least one in-person class are required to register for, and participate in, one of these seminars. Seminars are also available via ZOOM online conferencing. The sessions are open to GGU undergraduates and alumni as well. Graduate students have priority for registrations, but space is limited for each seminar. You can register for any seminar here.

Innovation in Practice Seminars

Speechless: “Improv” Your Way to Great Presentations!

Thursday, April 19, 2-4pm

Speechless, San Francisco’s renowned improv performance group, offers interactive, on-your-feet training combines improv, stand-up comedy, and storytelling to fuel its PowerPoint show. The Speechless mission is to make public speaking more fun and less scary for everyone — and also train corporate presenters to be more creative and persuasive in delivering presentations. The Presenter-as-Performer Philosophy and improvisation techniques encourage participants to find their voice, tell their story, and go public! This seminar will conclude with Speechless’ hilarious signature PowerPoint contest that will leave you laughing and thinking about your newly acquired skills. Speechless has trained some of the biggest and brightest companies in the world including Google, Adobe, LinkedIn, eBay, Microsoft, Salesforce, Zynga, and Twitter.

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Intellectual Property in Marketing: Overview and Recent Controversies

Thursday, April 19, 4:00-5:30 pm

GGU Law Professor Bill Gallagher will present an overview of intellectual property principles — including trademarks, patents, copyrights, and trade secrets — with an emphasis on those of interest to marketing and new product development. The session will include a discussion of recent issues and controversies. Hosted by Blodwen Tarter, Professor and Chair of GGU’s Marketing and Public Relations Department.

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Storytelling Techniques for Interviews and Networking with Dave Collins

Thursday, April 19 6:30-8:30 pm

Award-winning coach, improviser, and strategist Dave Collins will guide you in how to apply the art of storytelling techniques to create lasting, positive impressions for interviews and networking. This interactive workshop will use improv and experiential skill-building to develop best practices for talking about yourself, your skills, and engage any audience in any circumstance.

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Returns with a Conscience: How Social Responsibility Impacts Investment

Monday, April 23, 12-1:30 pm

In a world of climate change, diversity, and gun control controversies, investing with an eye for social responsibility is becoming a higher priority for many people. While some believe that limiting a portfolio to “ethical” investments results in lower returns, others argue that strong ethics enhance value for companies and their investors. Explore how you might earn returns without sacrificing your moral compass from Sonya Hetrick (pictured), Sector Analyst at the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), and Billy Hwan, Portfolio Manager at Parnassus Investments. The event will be moderated by David Kaczorowski, Academic Program Manager and Professor of Finance at GGU.

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Strategic Play with LEGO® Bricks: Building Corporate Social Responsibility

Monday, April 23, 4-6 pm

Did you create your own world when playing with LEGOs? Then you must join this hands-on workshop with artist and GGU professor Walt Stevenson! Participants will explore major contemporary practices of corporate social responsibility while building a model of society with LEGOs. Using state-of-the-art LEGO SERIOUS PLAY® methods for critical thinking, this session will explore the complex and dynamic relationships created by a pluralism-based society and government in our free market economy. LEGO SERIOUS PLAY methods are based on hand-brain connection research done by the LEGO Group.  Presenter Walt Stevenson is a Professor of Management and Communications at GGU, emphasizing critical thinking, business context, and interactive learning. He holds an AB in English from UC Berkeley and MBA and DBA degrees from GGU. He is a qualified MBTI facilitator and an approved LEGO SERIOUS PLAY facilitator. He is a Colleague and Distinguished Leader of the Creative Education Foundation.

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Protecting San Francisco’s Future: The Seawall Fortification Bond

Monday, April 23, 4-6:30 pm

This is a fascinating case study evolving in real-time for all student and professional PMI and ITMs. Tyrone Navarro, the Principal Administrative Analyst for the Port of San Francisco (and President of the Board of Directors of Project Management Institute, San Francisco Chapter) will discuss the facts and challenge of the Seawall Fortification Bond. Did you know that the Port of San Francisco is responsible for maintaining more than seven miles of City of San Francisco waterfront, including the three-mile-long seawall that protects it? The Seawall, from Fisherman’s Wharf to Mission Creek, will require billions of dollars over the next three decades to make it resilient to a major earthquake and combat sea level rise. This is a major planning and public outreach effort, as voters will need to be convinced to pass the initial $350 million bond measure this fall.

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Blockchain and Initial Coin Offerings: An Introduction

Monday, April 23, 6-7:30 pm

FinTech, cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings (ICO), and digital wallets have been hot topics in the popular press. These terms are associated with “digital assets” that are disrupting financial services in the 21st century and changing the way the world does business. Blockchain is the software technology underlying these changes. This seminar is an opportunity to learn from industry expert, Patrick Baron, CEO of Ambisafe Financial Services and a Member of the Board of Directors of Orderbook.io. Among his many activities, Patrick is an Adjunct Instructor of Blockchain at the FinTech School, an advisor to UC Berkeley’s student-led blockchain group, and a frequent presenter of blockchain workshops for corporate executives.

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Creating a Culture of Respect in the Workplace

Tuesday, April 24, 12-1:30 pm

No doubt you have been following #Metoo and #Timesup movement. Dr. Marianne Koch, Associate Dean and Director of GGU’s Human Resource Management Department, has been interviewing HR managers about challenges and best practices concerning sexual harassment at work and how to end it. She will discuss the preliminary findings of her research into how to end sexual harassment and create a culture of respect in our workplaces. Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in small-group discussions focusing on questions and scenarios of workplace interactions. Short case studies will also be presented followed by debate as to the best ways to approach various situations. This is an important discussion for all employees, regardless of gender identity, who want to work in a shared culture of dignity and mutual respect.

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A Broad View of Cybersecurity

Tuesday, April 24, 4-6pm

According to Homeland Security: “Our daily life, economic vitality, and national security depend on a stable, safe, and resilient cyberspace. Cyberspace and its underlying infrastructure are vulnerable to a wide range of risk stemming from both physical and cyber threats and hazards.” Cybersecurity expert Thomas Overman will provide a review of the development of modern information system security frameworks and implementation guidelines. The framework will be used as a base for group discussions of specific security case studies. Overman has an extensive security background serving in military and civilian areas of cybersecurity, information assurance, system security architectures, and security management. He has taught at the National Security Agency National Cryptology School.

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Running a For-Profit Business as a Force for Social and Environmental Sustainability

Tuesday, April 24, 4-6pm

B CorpJoin Veena Harbaugh and leaders from three local, certified B Corporations® to learn about B Corps and the 170 Bay Area firms that have become certified B Corps. Harbaugh is a Development Associate at B Lab, where she helps aspiring and certified B Corporations become extraordinarily successful and aligned with the principles of a running a sustainable business. A nonprofit organization, B Lab is devoted to driving a global movement that rethinks how businesses are measured.  Through a unique and rigorous assessment process, B Lab audits companies that strive to be both the best in the world and the best for the world — so that they have positive social and environmental impact, organizational transparency, and legal accountability.

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Gig Economy: What is it? What’s It Mean to Me, and What’s Ahead?

Tuesday, April 24, 6:30-8:30 pm

The Gig Economy is here to stay. But what does it mean for workers and organizations? Where did it come from, and why? How are workers best ‘classified’ and managed, and what are the consequences of employee mismanagement? Does the current legal system serve the interests of stakeholders and commerce well? What changes might be ahead? Whether you work for a Bay Area company or you are busy dreaming up the next big thing to replace Uber, this session will inform important choices in your working life. The seminar is presented by Tom Cushing, JD/MBA, a Senior Adjunct Professor at the Ageno School of Business, who teaches employment law, negotiation, and CSR-related courses. As an attorney, corporate executive, legal recruiter, freelancer (“an Adjunct Professor, after all”), he has operated within the evolving structural environment of work throughout his careers.

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Analytics in Sports

Wednesday, April 25, 4-6 pm

Sports Predictive Analytics is used to improve the winning records of athletes and teams, assess their strengths and weaknesses, and build a winning strategy. In this seminar of interest to business students and sports fans, Dr. Ash Pahwa, Ph.D. (pictured) will focus on team rankings and how to predict the winner of a specific game. Pahwa is an educator, author, entrepreneur, and technology visionary with three decades of industry and academic experience. He has founded several successful technology companies during his career, the most recent of which is A+ Web Services. Dr. Pahwa earned his doctorate in Computer Science from the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. He is listed in Who’s Who in the Frontiers of Science and Technology. He is also a Google Certified Analytics Consultant. His expertise includes search engine optimization, Web analytics, Web programming, digital image processing, database management, digital video, and data storage technologies. The seminar will be hosted by Dr. Siamak Zadeh, GGU Visiting Assistant Professor & Data Scientist.

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Introduction to Ketamine with Dr. Raquel Bennett

Thursday, April 26, 6-8 pm

In a rare opportunity for psychology students and professionals, Dr. Raquel Bennett will be discussing ketamine: a medicine that is primarily used as a surgical anesthetic, but which also has rapid-acting antidepressant properties. Dr. Bennett has been studying the therapeutic effects of ketamine for over 15 years and lectures frequently on this topic. The presentation will describe ways of working with therapeutic ketamine: low-dose infusions, ketamine-facilitated psychotherapy, and psychedelic ketamine journeys. Dr. Bennett will also talk about which patients should or should not have ketamine treatment, and provide resources for finding clinicians who work with this unique medicine. She is the founder of KRIYA Institute and the organizer of the KRIYA Conferences, which is an annual and international event devoted to understanding the use of ketamine in psychiatry and psychotherapy.

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7 Skills That Will Help Advance Your Career & The Characteristics of a Winner

 By Terry Connelly, former GGU Ageno School of Business Dean

In my last blog post, I talked about running your career strategy like a business. Here I get down to skills you need in a finance or other business job – and how to be a true winner and leader.

The Skills

1.

Learn to think in non-US currencies. While business “language” is most predominantly English, globalization has made far more than one currency relevant to business strategy and financial practice. Regional currencies have survived, and trade in pairs, to some extent in a zero-sum game. Public perceptions of the US dollar’s purchasing power change with tides of global central bank policies and national trade policies, which are currently a preoccupation of every US taxpaying business with foreign operations and profits and intellectual property. Do this exercise: spend a week translating all your expenses and investments into Euros or yen.

2.

In meetings, if you are not chairing, always be ready (and even volunteer) to be the note-taker! It’s not demeaning; it’s empowering. Making the record of discussion flow can become a very important role. It often yields access to more senior executives and follow-up responsibilities. If there is a document under discussion, be happy to be the “mark-up master.” You will remember the important decision points in the meeting better and be a “go-to” person for the next draft. If you have ideas to contribute, train yourself to “draft in the air” (i.e., gather precise language in your thoughts before you even write them down on the shared document), so you are immediately prepared to defend them. Don’t rely on your “stream of consciousness” – get good and conscious before you stream!

3.

Read people acutely; don’t jump to conclusions. Always challenge your assumptions about others’ motivations. Truly keep an open mind, listen, and read critically before you respond (particularly in terms of texts or e-mail; the latter have solved the problem of immortality as well as ultimate transparency!) Don’t underestimate the usefulness of walking down the hall to chat, because you can’t read body language in print or even optimally in a video conference. Admit when you don’t know an answer without giving up the chance to go get the answer.

Know your authentic business ‘personality’ and stay true to it.

4.

Thinking outside the box can be learned. Try to focus on facts or nuances that others are missing or dismissing. Avoid the “not invented here” syndrome affecting many bureaucracies and entrenched lines of business. Pick your spots, however, when mounting a challenge to conventional wisdom – don’t become easily branded as a “contrarian.”

5.

Pay close attention to internal politics – then rise above it. Do not become trapped in other peoples’ disputes unnecessarily. When you are a party to a disagreement, always show respect for your adversaries. There are seldom permanent work enemies. If you are in charge of a working group or committee, be flexible enough to include, rather than exclude, those whom you expect will disagree with the group direction, or your own – unless it’s clear they would participate only to disrupt.

6.

Build others’ trust in your ethics and your judgment. Get known for fair and measured assessments of situations. Be the “sane one” in a room or workspace full of rancor. And never disparage your own proven abilities – it confuses people and makes them wary of your intentions. Don’t surprise colleagues too often; let them have a good general sense of “where you are coming from.” Let the surprise be the special insight –  not that it’s coming from you. Be neither “predictable” nor “unpredictable.”

7.

Treat any workplace relationship or interpersonal conduct not relating to business as though its essence could be disclosed on a major social media or another news site at any time – and act accordingly. When in doubt, disclose; if you can’t disclose, don’t act.


Those are the skills, but here are the personal qualities you want to develop to be a winner and a leader.

  • Know your authentic business “personality” and stay true to it. Play within your competence; and if that’s not enough to succeed, seek to expand your competence.
  • Be committed to getting to the bottom of things. Don’t settle for superficial agreement or avoidance because the issue is “too hard.” Do not keep a permanent “too hard” file, if at all possible.
  • Be sure of your facts. Be truly well-informed. Take care in all things – including the “little” things.
  • Be objective: Don’t fear to admit the strengths of another person’s position or argument. Remember the argument based on your authority is the weakest.
  • Be discrete in what to say, and when to say it. Keep legitimate confidences. Never agree “not to tell the boss” if the boss has the need to know, even as a favor to a close friend or mentor.
  • Be the first to define reality and the first to say thank you. Intelligence, integrity, and charm will take you a long way – integrity is the essential one, and the hardest one to fake in the long run.

About Terry Connelly

terry-connellyTerry Connelly is an economic expert and Dean Emeritus of the Ageno School of Business at Golden Gate University. With more than 30 years of experience in investment banking, law and corporate strategy on Wall Street and abroad, Connelly analyses the impact of government politics and policies on local, national and international economies, examining the interaction of global financial markets, the U.S. banking industry (and all of its regulatory agencies), the Federal Reserve, domestic employment levels and consumer reactions to the changing economic tides. He holds a law degree from NYU School of Law and his professional history includes positions with Ernst & Young Australia, the Queensland University of Technology Graduate School of Business, New York law firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore (corporate, securities and litigation practice in New York and London), global chief of staff at Salomon Brothers investment banking firm and Cowen & Company’s investments, where he served as CEO. In conjunction with past Golden Gate University President Dan Angel, Connelly co-authored Riptide: The New Normal In Higher Education (2011). Riptide deconstructs the changing landscape of higher education in the face of the for-profit debacle, graduation gridlock, and staggering student debt, and asserts a new, sustainable model for progress. He is a board member of the Public Religion Research Institute, a Washington, DC think tank and polling organization, and the Cardiac Therapy Foundation in Palo Alto, California. Connelly lives in Palo Alto with his wife.


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Which Financial Industry Designation is Right for Me?

SPECIAL EVENT PRESENTED BY CFA SOCIETY SAN FRANCISCO
Thursday, March 1st (12:00 P.M. – 1:30 P.M.)
Golden Gate University, San Francisco [Map]
Room 6208 (6th Fl.)

Whether you’re searching for a new career path or just curious about the different finance credentials, this panel will help guide you through some of the best known professional designations in the financial industry: Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Certified Financial Planner (CFP®), Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Management Accountant (CMA),  Financial Risk Manager (FRM), Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Master of Finance (MFin). Each of these has a core career focus, and although their abbreviations often sound interchangeable, each designation gives you something unique. Join us for lunch* on  March 1st to discover what careers each designation typically leads to.

Register Now >>

Registration is free for Golden Gate Unversity Students. For the special registration code, contact David Kaczorowski Professor of Finance and Program Manager at GGU.


Speakers


Lu Cheng, CFA, CPA
Associate Portfolio Manager, BlackRock

Lu Cheng, CFA, CPA, is an Associate Portfolio Manager within BlackRock’s ETF and Index Investments (“EII”) group, currently responsible for the US iShares ETFs. Prior to joining BlackRock, Ms. Cheng was an Assistant Vice President at State Street managing the Equity Index Client Operations team providing fund accounting, custodial services and financial reporting for index equity and asset allocation portfolios. Ms. Cheng earned her B.A. in Economics and International Relations in 2009 from University of California, Davis.

Bryan Hasling, CFP, EASenior Financial Planner, JW Harrison

Bryan Hasling, CFP, is a certified financial planner and enjoys using his expertise to guide clients through their various financial topics, such as tax planning, investments, stock options, retirement, and more. Previously, he worked with firms in the Dallas-Ft Worth and Lubbock, TX areas, serving high net worth families and business owners. Mr. Hasling is Co-Director of his local chapter’s NexGen group within the Financial Planning Association – a group dedicated to helping young professionals with their personal growth and continuing education. Mr. Hasling attended Texas Tech University, receiving a degree in Personal Financial Planning and a minor in economics. In addition to his CFP® designation, Mr. Hasling also earned the IRS Enrolled Agent certification, which marks one of the highest degrees in tax education.

Jonathan Short, CMA, MBADirector of Revenue Management – Wine & Spirits, Constellation Brands

Jonathan Short joined Constellation Brands in 2008 to build out the company’s Grape Strategy capabilities. He was responsible for optimizing the $0.5 Billion spend on Constellation’s annual grape and bulk wine purchases and 12,000 acres of internally farmed fruit. Since 2014 Jon has worked in his current role where he manages pricing and promotional effectiveness for Constellation’s Wine & Spirits business. Mr. Short holds a B.A. in Economics from UCLA and an M.B.A. from UC Davis. He earned the Certified Management Accountant credential in 2016 and is the Director of Outreach for the San Francisco chapter of the Institute of Management Accountants.

Valerie Wong, MFinVice President, BlackRock

Valerie Wong, Vice President, is an Equity Index Strategist within BlackRock’s ETF and Index Investments group. Ms. Wong joined BlackRock from MSCI where she spent almost 8 years, most recently as a Senior Associate and part of the Index Client Coverage team supporting West Coast Asset Managers. Before MSCI, she served as a Financial Analyst at HSBC. She began her career as an Auditor at KPMG. Ms. Wong graduated Summa Cum Laude from the EGADE Business School (Tec de Monterey) with an MFin. She earned a B.Sc. in Accounting with a minor in Public Accounting and a B.A. in International Business with a minor in Economics from John Brown University. Ms. Wong passed Level II of the CFA Program.

Gene Yoshida, CFA, Senior Director of Enterprise Risk Management, Prosper Marketplace

Gene Yoshida is the Senior Director of Enterprise Risk Management at Prosper Marketplace and became a CFA charterholder in 2014.  Gene is a practitioner of operational, credit, and new product risk at the line and in an oversight capacity. Diverse background in asset management, insurance, real estate, and consumer finance.

Moderator

Dave Kaczorowski, CFA, MBAProfessor of Finance & Program Manager, Golden Gate University

David Kaczorowski has experience in the finance industry that spans both academic and industry practice.  He is a Professor of Finance and Program Manager at Golden Gate University.  He has also worked in both equity research and portfolio management.  His most recent industry position was as lead manager of a startup family office. Prior to that position, he spent five years as an equity research associate, covering technology companies.  Dave has both a CFA charter and an MBA in Investment Management from Yale University.

Price:

$15 Member/$25 Non-Member

This event qualifies for 1.5 hours of continuing education credit for CFA Charterholders.

*Lunch Provided.


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Know Your Brain, Grow Your Leadership

By Marcia Ruben, PhD, PCC

I have been learning about and teaching basic neuroscience principles for the past three and a half years. I use a brain-based coaching approach in my executive coaching practice. I have come to appreciate how much a basic working knowledge of our brains can help leaders function more effectively.

We all have finely tuned brains, exquisitely developed to quickly detect threats and also seek rewards. In fact, as our brains scan our environment every one-fifth of a  second, it is reassuring to know that we have five times as many circuits to pick up threats than rewards. It is especially comforting to know this when we are potentially faced with physical danger. When I am out and about and alone in a new and strange area, I am glad that my brain will alert me in a nanosecond if I need to call 911, run, or scream. I also know that cortisol will course through my body, signaling distress. And when someone gives me wonderfully positive feedback, my brain experiences this as a reward and I receive a dopamine rush.

One of the most important insights from the intersection of neuroscience and leadership is that a leader’s job is to create a psychologically safe enough environment so that employees feel empowered to express ideas and fully participate.

This same finely tuned brain is also helpful at work. We are social creatures and need other people. We want to feel safe. When we feel rewarded we are more creative, learn more, and contribute more. On the other hand, because we are so attuned, our brains can pick up the slightest negative facial expression that signals a threat. A number of research studies show that when people are shown a series of facial expressions, ranging from happy to angry, they much more quickly and accurately pick up those with even subtle angry expressions.

So, think about your organization as a network of executives, middle managers, and employees with finely tuned brains.

Each individual within this network is constantly and non-consciously scanning for threats and rewards. How do you know if your company is an environment more prone to rewards (hits of dopamine) than threats (blasts of cortisol)? If people are routinely coming up with new and innovative ideas,  praised for good work, and meetings are fun, productive, and everyone gets a chance to talk and be heard, there is a good chance that your network of finely tuned brains is working well.

On the other hand, if individuals engage in finger-pointing, blame, backstabbing, and worse, it is likely that some are creating threats at a biological level and others are shutting down.

One of the most important insights from the intersection of neuroscience and leadership is that a leader’s job is to create a psychologically safe enough environment so that employees feel empowered to express ideas and fully participate. On the other hand, there has to be enough productive stress so that deadlines are met, people stretch, and the company as a whole experiences success.

To what extent is your network of finely tuned brains aligned and working well in your company? How productive is your brain? Thanks to breakthroughs in the field of neuroscience It is now possible to optimize your leadership team. Learn more about the first and only scientifically validated brain assessment: MyBrainSolutions.

This article previously appeared on Marcia Ruben’s Leadership Tangles blog.


More About Marcia Ruben, Ph.D.

Marcia Ruben, Ph.D., began teaching full-time at Golden Gate University in 2012 and was appointed to the Chair of the Management Department at GGU in 2014. She was awarded the Judith E. Browning Award for Outstanding Teaching in 2015. She was awarded the 2016-2018 Russell T. Sharpe Research Professorship. In 2017, she was promoted to an Associate Professor. Marcia continues a private executive leadership development practice. Marcia earned the Certified Management Consultant designation from the Institute of Management Consultants USA in 2002. She is also an accredited executive coach and completed a year-long evidence-based coaching certification program. Marcia earned the Professional Certified Coach (PCC) designation from the International Coach Federation in 2010. Marcia earned her Ph.D. in Human and Organizational Systems from Fielding Graduate University. She earned an M.A. in Human and Organizational Systems from Fielding Graduate University and an M.S. in Counseling from California State University, Hayward. Marcia graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. from University of California, Berkeley. She has co-authored several articles that are recognized as thought-leaders in the change management and coaching industry. Her article, Untangling Conflicting Organizational Agendas: Applying Emotional Regulation, SCARF, and Other Neuroleadership Principles to a Case Study, was published in the 2015 Neuroleadership Journal.


 

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GGU Professor Leads First-Time Nuerostroll™ Exercise

As part of GGU’s recent seminar series, Professor Marcia Ruben (pictured above, standing) led an experiential exercise called a Neurostroll™. She created the exercise – conducted for the first time – to help current and future leaders to identify and strengthen the parts of the brain and mind that contribute to success. Dr. Ruben has given presentations and taught about the link between neuroscience and leadership, as well as writing about the subject on her Leadership Tangles blog. The seminar, titled “Know your Brain; Boost Your Effectiveness,” was co-facilitated by Dr. Debra Pearce-McCall, who co-authored The Neurochemistry of Power Conversations with Dr. Ruben.

MBA student Yulee Kim-Whetstone volunteered at the event.

Attendees identified a personal development goal such as building confidence in making a presentation, running a meeting, speaking up when they disagree, being more direct, networking in a room of strangers, or showing empathy to others. Next, they visited a series of stations representing the acronym S.T.R.O.L.L: Sensing, Thinking, Regulating, Orienting, Lasting, and Leading Yourself. Each station was led by a volunteer student, who participated in a pre-training just prior to the exercise.

At the “T = Thinking” station

Participants completed pre-survey and a post-survey, contributing to data on the Nuerostroll’s effectiveness for current and future leaders.

Leaders who are aware of the neurochemistry of social interaction are better able to regulate themselves, lower defensiveness, and bring everyone’s best thinking and ideas to the table.

—Marcia Ruben, Ph.D.

 

Dr. Ruben’s Teaching

Dr. Ruben is an Associate Professor, Chair of GGU’s Management Department, and the 2016-2018 Recipient of the Russell T. Sharpe Professorship. She has incorporated the latest scientific knowledge about the biological basis for leadership behavior in five GGU courses: Management and LeadershipPersonal LeadershipTeamwork in OrganizationsExecutive Coaching; and Leadership Theory, Research, and Application.

If you are interested in the issues raised by the Neurostroll, you can look for the article, Know Your Brain, Grow Your Leadership, which appears on her Leadership Tangles blog. You can follow Dr. Ruben on Twitter at @TangleDoctor.

 


More About Marcia Ruben, Ph.D.

Marcia Ruben, Ph.D., began teaching full-time at Golden Gate University in 2012 and was appointed to the Chair of the Management Department at GGU in 2014. She was awarded the Judith E. Browning Award for Outstanding Teaching in 2015. She was awarded the 2016-2018 Russell T. Sharpe Research Professorship. In 2017, she was promoted to an Associate Professor. Marcia continues a private executive leadership development practice. Marcia earned the Certified Management Consultant designation from the Institute of Management Consultants USA in 2002. She is also an accredited executive coach and completed a year-long evidence-based coaching certification program. Marcia earned the Professional Certified Coach (PCC) designation from the International Coach Federation in 2010. Marcia earned her Ph.D. in Human and Organizational Systems from Fielding Graduate University. She earned an M.A. in Human and Organizational Systems from Fielding Graduate University and an M.S. in Counseling from California State University, Hayward. Marcia graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. from University of California, Berkeley. She has co-authored several articles that are recognized as thought-leaders in the change management and coaching industry. Her article, Untangling Conflicting Organizational Agendas: Applying Emotional Regulation, SCARF, and Other Neuroleadership Principles to a Case Study, was published in the 2015 Neuroleadership Journal.


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Seven Specific Strategies to Treat Your Career like a Business — and Make it Big!

Terry Connely, a former GGU Ageno School of Business Dean reflects on his first-hand knowledge of what works to achieve success. He says that some ideas may seem counterintuitive, but winning strategies always depend on demonstrating distinctive competence: “To be outstanding, don’t fear to stand out – even if that sometimes means going against the grain.”

1. Strive to make a difference.

Always aim high–even “to change the world,” to borrow the cliché. At the very least, strive to change “your professional world” for the better! Put another way, consider it a core goal of yours in any organization, job or meeting, to make a difference because you are there — to leave the situation better than what you found at the start. When you think about it, why else do anything? When you are in your office or cubicle or shared space, ask yourself this question every day: “What is the difference between me and a potted plant”? (This challenge works particularly well in boring meetings.) Never waste an opportunity to make a difference.) And remember: “good enough” is not.

2. Have a Strategy

Plan your career strategy as if it were a business strategy. Identify your “distinctive competence” (What am I really good at doing that I love doing, and want to build on to separate myself from the crowd?). Make it the centerpiece of what you seek to do, and how you can expand your capabilities from that base.

Do your own SWOT Analysis about your existing strengths, weaknesses opportunities and threats in your career “market.” Do a Scenario Analysis of that market and the world around it anywhere from three three-to-five years out, and identify the likely “Change Drivers” and Key Issues that will most affect your success in any of the scenarios you foresee. Review and revise along the way. And always make sure the career steps you take have Strategic Fit with one another (that they are not contradictory) and with your distinctive competence. Set your priorities once you have set your strategy and stick to them – no flinching!

Do your own SWOT Analysis

3. Sideways Leads Up!

Manage your working relationships sideways, not just up and down the ladder. It’s not just a case of who you work for and who works for you. Reporting lines do not solely, or even primarily, define your “lane.” Your lateral relationships will provide the most telling feedback – if you ask, and listen. This is especially true of a workplace featuring “360 degree” performance reviews. Get out ahead of those reviews by keeping in touch with colleagues who are not in your direct chain of command. This is particularly useful in workplaces where there are known rumor mills or cultures like the Navy where everyone expected to “get the word” even if it is not written down. Remember, your peers may well be around longer than your first boss.

4. Do not slavishly target compensation as your benchmark of progress.

The larger the organization is, the more likely that its compensation incentives and plans will lag its strategic intentions. People that have climbed the ranks fight to keep the incentive structures that rewarded them in the past, and only give lip service to new strategies, but in the current strategy.

Even if the current strategy doesn’t seem to be changing soon, work in anticipation of a new strategy and the pay will catch up if you excel. Do not slavishly target compensation as your benchmark of progress toward leadership roles. Your best career advancement choices may be counterintuitive from a pay point of view in the short- or even medium-term. Identify yourself as a supporter of pay for performance, but be sure there is an appropriate definition of performance. Don’t gossip about pay, and don’t argue about pay with your boss unless you are comfortable leaving the job. Concentrate on making yourself useful — then, indispensable! Then you won’t have to argue about pay.

Your best career advancement choices may be counterintuitive from a pay point of view.

5. Think more about the business than your job.

Think more about the business than your job. The corollary is to choose to work in a business that you enjoy thinking about! Cultivate abroad perspective on your enterprise whether for-profit or non-profit. Immerse yourself in understanding its strategy, and even offer considered thoughts about it may be working well or whether there is a better approach than what you see. Listen to your peers because the best ideas come from their perspectives, not just yours

6. Form your own Board of Advisors.

A “Board of Advisors” is a group of people who are familiar enough with you and your competencies, and who will give advice to you in a constructive and straightforward manner. Anyone can profit from such a Kitchen Cabinet, which can be comprised of friends inside and outside your firm, executive search contacts, former classmates and colleagues, relatives, former teachers and even financial advisors or ministers. Some folks just know us better than we do – get to know them, take them into your confidence; and, if you trust them, listen

7. Be willing to go abroad.

Look to broaden your experience, including geographically: try not to look askance at an overseas posting or an inconvenient move – but get something in exchange for the extra burdens. At the very least, be sure you have a fair and reasonable expat financial and support package if you are being asked to move your family abroad. Domestically, you should be fairly supported financially in terms of the cost of moving, and do not accept that getting a promotion is sufficient. But by all means get the promotion, too. Be sure that you do not, however, link your career while it is on the way up with a new location that is on its way down, unless it is to be your job to turn the satiation around and you are not being set up to fail or provided insufficient resources to succeed.


More About Terry Connelly

terry-connellyTerry Connelly is an economic expert and Dean Emeritus of the Ageno School of Business at Golden Gate University. With more than 30 years experience in investment banking, law and corporate strategy on Wall Street and abroad, Connelly analyses the impact of government politics and policies on local, national and international economies, examining the interaction of global financial markets, the U.S. banking industry (and all of its regulatory agencies), the Federal Reserve, domestic employment levels and consumer reactions to the changing economic tides. He holds a law degree from NYU School of Law and his professional history includes positions with Ernst & Young Australia, the Queensland University of Technology Graduate School of Business, New York law firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore (corporate, securities and litigation practice in New York and London), global chief of staff at Salomon Brothers investment banking firm and Cowen & Company’s investments, where he served as CEO. In conjunction with past Golden Gate University President Dan Angel, Connelly co-authored Riptide: The New Normal In Higher Education (2011). Riptide deconstructs the changing landscape of higher education in the face of the for-profit debacle, graduation gridlock, and staggering student debt, and asserts a new, sustainable model for progress. He is a board member of the Public Religion Research Institute, a Washington, DC think tank and polling organization, and the Cardiac Therapy Foundation in Palo Alto, California. Connelly lives in Palo Alto with his wife.


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Small Business Expert Leads Entrepreneurial Workshop Program at San Francisco Campus

small-business-header
“At GGU, we successfully train students in business,” says entrepreneurial expert Robert Shoffner, MBA, “but that doesn’t mean that they will be working at a company at all times.” He notes that trends indicate that 80% of US workers will be “entrepreneurs” at some point in their careers, and will have exhibit creativity, drive, and risk-tolerance to start a business successfully. As the new Director of the 10-week Small Business Program that revs up this April, Shoffner’s goal is to take students from concept to blast-off over the course of 12 months.  After classroom work, they will be paired with a mentor to help them move forward.

Like most GGU instructors, Shoffner leverages his real-time professional experience along with his prior teaching experience (over 3 years at GGU). As the current leader of the Small Business Development Center in San Mateo, he oversaw access to capital of $10.5 million in 2017. Shoffner grew into a champion of entrepreneurs when he worked in commercial lending and saw small businesses grow – including a small pizza place that became a San Francisco Bay Area chain. Shoffner notes that government statistics show that small businesses are a powerful engine of job growth — accounting for 50% of private sector jobs. (His banking and finance career eventually led him to the position of West Coast President for Citibank.)


Apply Now to the Small Business Program Now

Send a brief email outlining your business, resources, experience, and commitment to biz@ggu.edu. Applications are due by March 17, 2018. Classes start April 7.
There is no enrollment fee due to a generous grant by Chevron.


About the Workshop

Although tech startups are part of the GGU teaching and learning ecosystem, this entrepreneurial course is geared for any kind of business – from law practices, to marketing consultancies, to restaurants. The breadth of student backgrounds provides a vibrant laboratory for developing business plans. The learning model is built on Shoffner’s multiple years of consulting experience and group process that results in actionable business plans. Successful entrepreneurs from the GGU alumni community will visit classes to discuss how they started their businesses.

What it Takes to Be an Entrepreneur

“The entrepreneurial mindset is a desire to take risks, work long hours, and be creative. Creativity can be the trigger for starting a business,” he says. As an example of creativity, he mentions an entrepreneur whose book describes lessons from his Uncle Cleave: a slave that transformed forced-labor ice delivery into his own business. Does Shoffner’s own family legacy – his grandfather filled a seat formerly occupied by Louis Armstrong in King Oliver’s seminal Jazz band – give him an ear for creative endeavors? “To look at a business and say ‘I created that’ is very satisfying for many people.”


More about the Small Business Program…

 

– 10-weeks
– Convenient Saturday meetings
– Completion of a business plan
– Pairing with a mentor
– Abundant networking opportunities
– Instruction by faculty / alumni with their own businessesQuestions? Write smallbiz@ggu.edu.

 

Learning with Accomplished Peers: The MBA Cohort Experience (Video)

Katharine Grimmer earned her MBA (’12) as part of a cohort: a group of students who journey through a degree program together. In this short video, Grimmer describes her cohort as “a group of smart, driven individuals..from different backgrounds and career areas.” Grimmer sites collaborating with peers outside her chosen field of biotech — and small class sizes — as instrumental in her education. Cohort-style learning also helped inform and inspire the launch of her entrepreneurial product, Lotus Rx Hair Solution.

Because Grimmer was working full time while pursuing an MBA, she chose to blend in-person cohort learning with online classes. GGU is nationally recognized as the #1 college for adult learners because it offers students like her the flexibility they need.


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Big Data & Brontobytes: Business Development Professional Speaks to Advanced Math Students

The “brontobyte” is not the world’s biggest dinosaur – as big as 12 African Elephants—that was discovered this year in Argentina — but a new unit of data measurement representing 1027 bytes. As Jerry Chang, Director, of Business Development at Mercury Systems explained to Dr. Cang Nguyen’s (DBA ’13) Statistics class said, this number represents the challenge and opportunity of Big Data for today’s businesses.

“In the age of inter-office print memos, we needed more information to make a sound business decision; now, however, in the age of Information Superhighway, we have too much,” said Chang. “The companies who learned how to analyze this information effectively will have significant competitive advantages; and so are the students who learn the critical thinking and data analytical skills through the courses offered at GGU.”

“…managers heavily depend on data and make decisions based on the data; but when setting the future for the company, visionary leaders often look beyond the data!”

Dr. Nguyen, himself a graduate of the DBA program at GGU, invited Chang to show students how decisions are made using Big Data in real-world situations.  Chang cited 1-to-1 marketing as a way how business leverages Big Data. Companies strive to know what consumers want, when they want it, and how much they are willing to pay for it. Instead of focusing on mass market, business is now able to personalize and contextualize the individual market in anticipating focused prospects’ needs. Chang recalled a situation where he hoped that Google could figure out where he may need to buy an umbrella in anticipation during his travel to a new city with an upcoming shower rain.

Dr. Cang reported to Chang for 14 years at Microsemi Corporation – a company that provides semiconductor and system solutions government and industrial markets. Working in both R&D engineering and business development, Cang analyzed large data sets to identify the best possible product positioning and competitive advantages. Based on these data-driven decisions, Microsemi was able to design better products and create optimal product roadmaps.

Trends and the Future

Rather than looking back, as does the paleontologist, business people must have their eyes on the future. As Chang shared, “success in business goes beyond harnessing Big Data and has to do with having a vision of the future like Steve Jobs had. In daily business practices, managers heavily depend on data and make decisions based on the data; but when setting the future for the company, visionary leaders often look beyond the data!”


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