What I Got Right and Wrong About 2015

My last post of the year is a chance to assess what I got right and wrong about my predictions for 2015. I made ten predictions a year ago. Some stretch goals, but all attainable. So let’s see how I did:

1. That UCF and Cincinnati Will Join the Big 12: It didn’t happen this year mainly because the Big 12 has yet to expand. It will soon and I still think these are the two most likely schools to join the conference. Verdict: That said, at least for this year: Wrong.

2. The Common Areas of BA 1 Will Get a Facelift: This got bogged down in red tape, but should happen in 2016. Verdict: Wrong

3. That We Will Launch a New Website in January: On schedule and a big hit. Verdict: Right.

4. We Will Add 5 Endowed Chairs to the College: We landed three, well technically four in 2015, but one won’t start till 2016. Just the Dixon Chair to go. A good year, but again technically the Verdict: Wrong

5. We Will Be Searching for Ten New Faculty in 2016: Yep, we are and we have already landed at least four. Verdict: Right

6. We Will Add A Second Pegasus Professor for the College:. This didn’t happen, but I’ve heard a resubmission this year should produce the desired outcome. Verdict: Wrong

7. This Year’s Hall of Fame Will Hit 600 Attendees: Tiff and three great inductees delivered almost 700 people. Verdict: Right

8. The Evening MBA Will Enroll 125 students for Fall 2015: We did even better, enrolling more than 140. Bob and his team did a great job. Verdict: Right.

9. Another College Will Create a Professional Development Center like Ours: I’m told this is still in the works. Hurry up, people. Verdict: Wrong

10. The Professional Sales Program Will Double in Size: Nope, not yet. Get busy Marketing people. I don’t like being wrong. Lol. Verdict: Wrong.

All told, I only got 4 of 10 exactly right. But we came close to filling all 5 endowed chairs this year and the influx of all the new tenure-track talent has been energizing for the College. Add in The Exchange, our success in helping more students get full-time jobs before graduation and rising graduate enrollment, 2015 was a good year indeed. Let’s hope 2016 is even better. My predictions for the New Year will post January 4th. I’m hoping to go 8 for 10.

How to Get a Meeting with Me Part 2

So, my e-mailer of last week accepted my challenge, writing back….

Dean Jarley,

 I love a challenge, and it seems that I have already won a small victory for invoking a response in the first place.

To be specific, I have questions about your experiences and personal steps that have brought you to lead the 225 employees, 9000 students, and many other layers under you. Sure, I could be directed to someone else that could answer those questions, but it wouldn’t be an adequate option as they aren’t in your position to accurately answer these questions. I am drawn to leaders and their experience that brought them there, because those experiences and thoughts are references I can use to be in your position; Leading. What I can offer you is some lunch, and the knowledge that one of your students doesn’t plan on being just another graduate from your college, which is why you’re here. My response to your statement of my immediate concern is: my concern lies in the future, yet will be affected by your immediate response. I look forward to seeing you soon.

Challenge Accepted,

My response:

Persistence pays.  I have 30 minutes, 9 am Friday in my office.  Come with specific questions and I’ll try to answer them.  The more interesting the questions, the better.

In some ways my  writer got a little lucky.  I had an opening on my schedule and the writer could meet on my terms (something usually necessary when getting a meeting with someone in a position like mine).  That said, this student created their own opportunity and took advantage of it:  It was a good meeting: focused, to the point and, as promised, about the future.  Impressive.



How to Get A Meeting with Me

Last Wednesday, I got an email from a student.  It read:

Subject: Questions

Good morning Dean Jarley,

My name is  …., a student in your college of business. I would like to personally introduce myself to you in person and talk to you for a few minutes about yourself, this program and the future. If you could respond through this email, or give me a call at 555-555-5555 I’d appreciate it. Looking forward to hearing from you.

My response:

Good Afternoon ….:

I appreciate your courage in reaching out, so I’m going to use this opportunity to give you some insight into how to secure a meeting with someone in a position like mine.  I have 225 employees. 9,000 students and am charged with transforming business education over the next five to ten years at UCF. I have layers of people below me and 12 direct reports who manage the day-to-day operations of the college. Tons of people want to see me.  This makes time my most precious asset and I have to manage it very carefully.

If you want to get a one-on-one meeting with someone like me and not just get directed to a person who works for me and can help you with an immediate concern, you need to be able to articulate a compelling reason why I should take the time to meet with you.  In other words, you need to figure out in this instance how you are going to “get to the one.”   

The email you sent falls short in that regard.  It’s subject says you have “questions,” but I don’t know anything about the nature of the questions. Again I employ lots of people who can give you answers to lots of questions.  The body of your email suggests you want advice, but it’s not clear what type of advice you want.  Whether you want questions answered or advice, I can’t yet judge whether I am the right person for you to see.  In most instances, I am not that person.

So if you are up to the challenge, fashion an email that tells me what you really seek and why I would want to meet with you to discuss the topic.  Keep it short, like an elevator pitch.  Worst case scenario is that I direct you to someone who can give you a better answer than I can.

 Dean Jarley

I’m hoping the student writes back.

Paul Llerena’s Persistence Gets Him to “The One.”

More than 700 students in our Capstone class were challenged to enter our Failure Competition this fall. For the last two semesters we have invited any student on campus to join them in this endeavor. This semester about one hundred students took the initial challenge. The faculty narrowed the finalists to three. I contacted them and asked that they submit a video by last Friday. Only one finalist did.

You can watch Paul Llerena’s video by clicking here: https://youtu.be/t8muYbfOgGY

The failure competition is really a celebration of risk-taking and persistence. It recognizes people who were willing to try something new, learn, adjust and push on when others gave up or got distracted by other things. Paul saw this project to the finish. He was the only one who did. He used his initial failure to get to the one. Congrats Paul. Charge On!