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Conditioning Ourselves with the Positive

February 6, 2013

By: Ryan W. Quinn


One of positive leadership’s essential features is creating a culture of positivity. Last semester, on the final day of class, I had my students read a blog entry from the Harvard Business Review that presented a compelling example of this tenet in action

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Teaching and Leading Positively, Part 6: Emotion, Imagination, and Purpose

January 31, 2013

By: Robert E. Quinn


I had a dream. I was driving when the car in front of me stopped unexpectedly. I jammed on my brakes and stopped one inch short of its bumper. The episode filled me with so much adrenaline that I woke up. The event was a figment of my imagination, yet it triggered a physiological response that changed my reality. I moved from the condition of sleep to the condition of wakefulness. Lying there, I marveled at the power of my brain to create images of consequence.

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Teaching and Leading Positively, Part 5: A New Rule for Designing Meetings

January 27, 2013

By: Robert E. Quinn


One reason I write a gratitude journal is to increase my positivity level. Sometimes it works. One morning after writing, for example, I drove to the University of Michigan, where I teach (as most Lift blog readers know). As I stepped out of the car, I was teeming with positivity. This is a big claim. How do I know that my claim is true? I know it is true because there was tangible evidence. First, I was full of joy. The feeling was real. Second, I had a huge smile on my face. The smile was real. Third, I began to change the world. The change in the world was real.

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How to Change the World and Still Pay Your Bills

January 22, 2013


“You MBAs are the root of all our financial troubles,” an old friend told me after the market collapse in 2008—shortly after I had quit my job and enrolled in a full-time MBA program.

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Teaching and Leading Positively, Part 2: Where Change Can Happen

January 22, 2013

By: Robert E. Quinn


The movie Freedom Writers is about a teacher named Erin Gruwell. She enters an impoverished school and eventually learns how to connect with her students. She reaches extraordinary levels of performance, and her students change. At one point, she reflects on her teaching and she says, “I finally realized what I’m supposed to be doing, and I love it. When I’m helping these kids make sense of their lives, everything about my life makes sense to me. How often does a person get that?”

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Teaching and Leading Positively, Part 1: The Digestion of Experience

January 21, 2013

By: Robert E. Quinn


When I teach, my objective is not to transfer information to my students. It is to transform their identities. My history as a teacher tells me that if I can accomplish this objective, they will experience a huge jump in their capacity to influence their own lives and the lives of others. To accomplish my objective, I must have them do something unusual.

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Engaging Students in POS

January 15, 2013


Betsy Erwin brings a great depth and breadth of experience in Career Development to her new role building CPOS Labs, a program for student engagement at the Center for POS, as well as a deep appreciation for what POS can bring to the students, and through them, to the world. Some of the program’s ambitious goals are already being realized as the first cadre of students work on projects to expand our social media presence, assist faculty in translating research concepts into marketable tools and white papers, and investigate the viability of new degree programs.

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