You’re reading this, so you’ve made the decision to invest some time in thinking about your career. Thanks for taking time to read what I have to say. I’m shooting for “pragmatic” and a little “snarky”. I’ve had a life-long passion for helping people develop personally and think through their career. Business challenges get me excited too!
My grounding for the opinions and advice I offer stem from 15 years of experience in management consulting (Ernst & Young), corporate strategy and general management at 3M and teaching management at the University of MN. I enjoy my career, but am not consumed by it.
I currently lead MBA programs at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management. In a prior life I directed the Carlson Consulting Enterprise, an experiential learning program for MBA and Undergrad students here at Carlson. There I taught a year-long course in consulting skills while coaching students on projects in the business community. I also teach undergraduate and executive education courses in General Management and Critical Thinking and was honored to have won the Carlson School’s Undergraduate Faculty of the Year award in 2010. I enjoy serving on the steering committee for the U of MN’s Center for Integrative Leadership.
What are my motivations?
Fundamentally, my deepest motivation is for you to figure out your best fit and be positioned to get it. I see too many people who either lack support and advice or who feel trapped. You can absolutely influence your career positively, but only if you are proactive.
Here are a few other “practical” motivations…
- The first is self-involved. Simply, I’ve always wanted to write a book. I lack the creativity and stick-to-itiveness to write an artful piece of prose or historical non-fiction. I have, however spent a great deal of time working in roles that required me to think about how to manage your career. So to me it seemed “easy” to try and put my thoughts on the subject in print. As the process turned out, it wasn’t all that “easy” but a blog helps me chunk out my thinking.
- I get asked for a lot of advice. The blog has become a place to collect these thoughts and continue to share them over time.
- Third, this is a passion of mine. It’s important to me personally that as many of us as possible find good fits for ourselves in our careers. Note that I said FIT…you’ll find me circling back on this theme again and again.
- Fourth, I have had numerous colleagues refer to my observations as practical. My wife takes great amusement in this as she would not, I think, describe me as practical. However, in the context of work and career others see my advice this way. I believe this comes from trying to help them explore likely outcomes from taking certain actions. Think of it as scenario building or role-playing. Many of us are naïve when it comes to how others will react to our actions. I try to help people explore how certain steps will play out psychologically and politically. Whether this is “Machiavellian” or merely pragmatic I’ll leave to you to decide.
There are probably other reasons, but these are my big ones.