March 15, 2022

4:00-5:00 p.m. ET

Free and open to the public, registration required.

Michigan Ross Campus, Ross Building, 701 Tappan, Robertson Auditorium, Ann Arbor

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This in-person event will follow the most current U-M COVID-19-related health and safety guidelines.

Sue Ashford
Michael and Susan Jandernoa Professor of Management and Organizations, University of Michigan
Author, The Power of Flexing

About the talk

One of the best things you can say about someone is that they continued to grow, develop, change, improve, and evolve throughout their life. Indeed, personal growth is crucial if you want to become like that role model you most admire, have more influence as a leader, create better relationships with those joining you on a task, and ultimately, to bring positive change into our troubled world.

In September, I achieved a lifelong goal of publishing a book, The Power of Flexing, that summarizes decades of research and teaching on this very topic. This talk brings that book alive by sharing some of the stories of people who have put growth prominently on their agenda, suggesting key practices that facilitate growth for anyone anywhere, and highlighting what companies can do to enable the growth journeys of their employees.

About Ashford

Susan (Sue) Ashford is the Michael and Susan Jandernoa Professor in the Management and Organizations group at Michigan Ross. She served previously on the faculty of the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College and received her MS and PhD degrees from Northwestern University.

Sue’s passion is using her teaching and research work to help people to be maximally effective in their work lives, with an emphasis on self-leadership, proactivity, change from below, and leadership and its development. She teaches across several programs at Ross, in the Leading Women Executives program of the Corporate Leadership Center, and for various companies. Sue recently published a book that lives out her passion entitled The Power of Flexing: How to Use Small Daily Experiments to Create Big Life-Changing Growth (Harper Collins Business, 2021).

Sue is an award-winning scholar, having published papers in the fields’ best journals in the areas of leadership development and leader effectiveness, middle management voice and issue selling, job insecurity, and individual proactivity (e.g., self-management and feedback seeking). Her research has been summarized as advice for managers in the Harvard Business Review, the Harvard Business Review blog, New York Magazine, and The Conversation. Sue is a Fellow of the Academy of Management and was awarded the prestigious Career Achievement Award for Distinguished Scholarly Contributions to Management by that Association in 2017.

COVID-19-related Health and Safety Measures

In support of our return to more normal in-person operations for Fall 2021, the University of Michigan has put in place the following health and safety measures for meetings and events.

  • U-M policy requires campus guests complete ResponsiBLUE Guest, the daily COVID-19 symptom check tool, prior to accessing campus buildings.
  • U-M policy also requires all individuals wear a face covering while in a campus building.
  • U-M faculty, staff, and students are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Similarly, we encourage our guests to get vaccinated and to share their vaccine information in the ResponsiBLUE Guest app.

We will update this information in early 2022 as the date of this Positive Links talk draws closer. More information is available on the U-M 2021-2022 Campus Maize & Blueprint website.


Dave M. Mayer, Center for Positive Organizations Research Director; John H. Mitchell Professor of Business Ethics; Chair of Management and Organizations Area

Positive Links Speaker Series Sponsors

The Center for Positive Organizations thanks Sanger Leadership Center, Tauber Institute for Global Operations, Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies, Lisa and David (MBA ’87) Drews, and Diane (BA ’73) and Paul (MBA ’75) Jones for their support of the 2021-22 Positive Links Speaker Series.

Positive Links Series Promotional Partners

Additionally, we thank Ann Arbor SPARK and the Managerial and Organizational Cognition (MOC) Division of the Academy of Management for their Positive Links Speaker Series promotional partnerships.

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