Wednesday, May 12, 2010

My Love for Reading...

What’s up KD? I hope that this blog finds you well…

Life right now is a little in limbo; I’m in the middle of a job search. But, the school year is over, so things are quiet, and after a long year – that’s a good thing.

For today’s blog, I figured that I would talk about something that’s really passionate for me – reading!! I’m a pretty voracious reader; and normally, I am reading business management books. My favorite authors are Chip and Dan Heath, Patrick Lencioni, and John Maxwell – not necessarily in that order. I figured I would share why I got into reading, how I get it done with a full time job and family, and my top 5 business management books.

I have always had a love for reading in general. It started when I was growing up with the Book IT! program at our local library. With this program, kids could read books and get credit towards a free personal pan pizza from a local Pizza Hut. This was a great program – and what little kid doesn’t love pizza?

Well, that’s what got me started reading, and after graduate school I picked up business management books. After completing my first Master’s degree, I really wanted a greater understanding of how to develop myself as an administrator and lead within an organization. I stumbled upon John Maxwell’s 21 Laws of Leadership – and a passion was set ablaze. Since then, about 10 years ago, I have read somewhere around 300-400 books on leadership and business management. In fact, I’m so addicted that I actually listen to them in the car on my way to work.

When I talk with friends, both new and old – they ask me how I get so much reading done. I’m an MBA/MSSM student, husband, father of 2 toddlers, and I work full time. Well, I leave the books in my bathroom. I commit myself to reading a chapter a day, and that’s how I get it done. I have found that the bathroom is one of the few places that people will not bother you, so I am able to really get some major reading done in that space. So, there’s my secret, lol…

As for the selection of my top 5 books, I have to admit that I have read so many that it’s hard to pick 5. However, I will give it a shot. Most of my top 5 are books that I use in my work. I have found that by using the knowledge that I gain from each of these books in some small area makes me more likely to actually remember what I read.

So, here’s my top 5:

  • Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath

  • 4 Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive by Patrick Lencioni

  • Switch by Chip and Dan Heath

  • 5 Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni

  • The 360 Degree Leader by John Maxwell
Well, there you go. I hope that you are able to get some reading done on your own!! Until next time, catch you later KD!!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Dinner With Prospective Students

Terrill Cosgray, Executive Director of Kelley Direct, visited Seattle last week to host a dinner for prospective students. When asked if I would be interested in attending the dinner, I didn’t hesitate to say yes. I have had a great experience working on my MBA in the Kelley Direct program so far, and I wanted to share my insights and experience with the prospective students.

The dinner was held at the Canlis Restaurant. The food was delicious, the service was phenomenal, but the best part of the evening was the great discussion we had with everyone in attendance. In addition to the prospective students, there were other current Kelley Direct students as well as alumni. It was fun to share experiences and get everyone’s perspective on the program. I really appreciated hearing the alumni speak about how the MBA they earned through Kelley Direct has helped them progress in their careers. One talked about how his degree helped him get a great promotion at Microsoft. Another other talked about how Kelley Direct Career Services helped him get a new job at

I chose the Kelley School of Business because it is a highly rated business school, and the Kelley Direct program is, in my opinion, the best distance MBA program. I have been very pleased with my decision, which is good considering the significant investment I have made in the program both in terms of time and money. I am receiving an excellent education and I have already been able to apply things I have learned in my classes to my present job.

I was asked by one of the prospective students about work-life balance in the program. He wanted to know if it was really possible to take 6 credits per quarter while working full time. I told him that it can be challenging, but it is possible. Anything of value requires sacrifice. That is true of getting a quality MBA education. I have had to sacrifice sleep more than anything else. Luckily, I have the support of my family at home and my boss at work. That makes a big difference. The flexibility of the online MBA format provided by Kelley Direct fits my lifestyle and makes it easier to keep everything in balance.

I look forward to staying in touch with the people I met at the dinner. They are all a lot of fun to hang out with. I hope the information I gave the prospective students was helpful. It would be fun to see them in one of my classes in the near future.