Jon M. Huntsman School of Business

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Friday, May 17, 2013

Respect For Coworkers is Smart Business, Even if You Don’t Need Them

By Steve Eaton

I used to load food on airplanes at Sea-Tac International Airport. In theory, loading each flight on time was easy; the only factors that could make the job difficult were delayed flights, broken-down trucks or weather problems.

If things went smoothly, we had three hours to load three planes, but often flight delays would place all three on the ground at the same time, at which point we had to figure out quickly how to be in three places at once. If an airplane ever had to wait for loading to be finished, our company would be charged $100 a minute, which, in those days, was a lot of money. This very bad situation was also called a delay, but we were good at adjusting on our feet, so delays on our end were rare.

At one point on this job I had a boss who came straight from college with a master's in business administration, which was supposed to mean he knew how to manage us properly. He had good hair and looked like a game-show host. He was the kind of guy who might clean his garage with a sweater tied around his waist while wearing unscuffed boat-deck shoes. He never helped.

When something went wrong, this boss would call out to a team of loaders preparing for a flight and order them to run a meal or something else out to a waiting airplane. He was clueless. We knew if we did what he said it would start a chain reaction leading to multiple delays. So we often ignored what he told us and orchestrated the rescue with other loaders ourselves so that each flight went out on time. He didn’t care, as long as he looked good at the end of the day.

In contrast, we had another weathered supervisor who had worked his way up in the organization and could step in and do our jobs if needed. Sometimes he did. When he had to recruit emergency help, he would call out to us and simply ask, “What are you doing now?” That question allowed him to figure out who could best be pulled off his current assignment to go fight a fire. He respected us because he knew we were the only ones who understood exactly where all the moving pieces were.

Only a few leaders understand that respect should flow both ways, up and down the ladder. Does your boss panic like you do when you realize you are going to be late for a meeting with her? Does she call you from the airport to explain she’s going to need to reschedule?
Once, when a supervisor from the top floor missed a meeting with me, he sought me out at my office in the basement to apologize and take care of business. He did not summon me up to his office with no explanation for why he’d failed to show up. Another boss stopped what he was doing in the middle of a busy day to drive me to his home so he could loan me a book. He knew I was dealing with a family crisis and wanted to help in whatever way he could.

Novelist Paul Eldridge wrote, “A man’s character is most evident by how he treats those who are not in a position either to retaliate or reciprocate.”

This is not to disparage rank; there are reasons for it. It's helpful to have someone in charge who can take responsibility for decisions. I would not do well in an organization where everyone held hands and sang "Kumbaya." But I do not believe rank exists so supervisors can easily identify inferiors whom they can quickly replace if they disagree with them.

I once asked Stephen R. Covey if he ever worked with leaders who sought out his help for their companies but were blind to their own shortcomings. He said, “All the time.”

So if you have an office big enough to host an aerobics class, ask yourself this: Do you treat all the people who work for you with respect, even when you don’t have to? If someone treated you the way you treat others, how would it make you feel? How about the rest of us? Do you know the names of the people who come to your office to pick up the recycling? Are you courteous to the people who serve you at a restaurant or at McDonald's? Do you ever give the boss a sincere compliment? I have it on good authority that a lot of the top dogs have feelings, too.

Don't worry. I don't want us all to start singing. I’m just saying we can find simple and even fun ways to treat each other with respect. I once complained I didn’t get to travel as much as my co-workers, because I liked the cool shower caps at the fancy hotels and the notion of watching TV from bed.

I didn’t get to travel more, but now I have a very impressive collection of shower caps. The travelers started saving them for me. Now I know that next time there is a lice outbreak I’ll be the go-to guy. I will hold the power.

Sometimes that’s all you can hope for, respect in the face of a lice outbreak.

It’s a start.

Steve Eaton, is the director of communications, for the Jon M. Huntsman School or Business. He writes a column for the Deseret News that can be seen here. The above content is a column that originally ran in the Deseret News. It was used with permission from the organization. 


Friday, May 10, 2013

Seven Tips for Summer Job Success

Though the summer season brings a celebration of school's end, the hard work has only just begun for many students who work throughout the summer in challenging and career-building jobs and internships.

This change of scenery is an exciting time, but it can also be a crucial learning and networking period in the lives of young professionals who hope for success. So, in order to make the first few days of the new job a successful foundation for the remainder of the summer, and the rest of your career, Vice President of Human Resources at, Rosemary Haefner, suggested a few tips on

1. Dress for success — Although it is usually a good idea to overdress on your first few days, Haefner suggests to be aware of the environment that you will be working in and ask your supervisor what people usually wear. "If you dress to impress," said Haefner, "you probably will."

2. Relax — Try to control nervous habbits, said Haefner. The fear of messing up can inhibit your performance and lessen your credibility, which brings us to the next tip.

3. Be confident — If you believe in yourself, others probably will too. As the old adage goes, fake it til you make it.

4. Communicate — Don't be afraid to ask questions or to share your opinions, Haefner said. If you don't know something or you are unsure, ask. It is better to ask in the beginning and do the rest of the job right, than to not ask and do it incorrectly.

5. Separate your personal and professional lives — Haefner suggested that as a new employee, you show your employer that you want to be there by focusing on your work and limiting the amount of personal calls, emails and breaks that you take.

6. Be innovative and creative — Try to bring something new to the table and don't be afraid to go out on a limb, Haefner said. Remember that sometimes the ideas that may seem crazy are sometimes a stroke of genius.

7. Challenge yourself — Set goals and show those that you work with that you're serious about what you do and want to succeed. People that you work with are willing to help you in achieving those goals and helping bring excellence to the company.

— Allie Jeppson
     Communication Specialist
     Jon M. Huntsman School of Business

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Learning How to Bleed Blue and White: My Huntsman Graduate School Experience

Tyler Nielsen
Tyler Nielsen
The story of my graduate school experience is best started from the end. I have been lucky enough to land a full-time position in Honeywell’s Human Resources Leadership Development Program starting this summer. This was made possible by the Huntsman School of Business Master's of Human Resources program, which has worked hard to make USU one of Honeywell’s preferred universities to recruit from. When speaking with one of Honeywell’s VP’s of HR, he commented that students at Utah State obtain a superior education without becoming arrogant, unlike some of the students from an ivy-league school they have formerly recruited from. He said, “Aggies combine a ‘white-collar’ education with a ‘blue-collar’ work ethic.” The Huntsman School of Business has helped me in gaining both of those.
When compared with some other universities that I was considering for graduate school, USU offered me a wider array of options for my education as a grad student. With faculty and administrators who care about your specific career goals, I was able to get into the MBA and MSHR programs. This provided me with the breadth and depth of study that I was looking for in my quest to become a strategic HR professional. I have watched some of my fellow students customize their own tracks by complementing their MSHR degree with a master's in accounting or a master's in information systems. If you have a dream, the graduate student faculty in the Huntsman School of Business will help you get there by providing a superior “white-collar” education.
While I have enjoyed both of my master's programs, it was the opportunity to get involved at USU that appealed to me so much when deciding where to attend. In meetings with other schools, I felt restricted in not only customizing my education, but also in making an impact and leaving a legacy at the school. At USU, I have had the opportunity to found the MSHR Association, assist in founding the Global Affairs Committee, volunteer on the Business Council, plan a career exploration trip to the Bay Area, campaign for friends in ASUSU elections, organize extra-curricular classes, run a lemonade stand on campus for Entrepreneurship Week, go on recruiting trips for my programs, mentor new students, and help my cohort members in pursuing their educations and careers. These experiences have helped me grow in my abilities to serve, lead, and interact with my peers. There have been many hard lessons and rewarding experiences along the way that I cherish as much as, or even more than, my formal education. USU has encouraged and helped me to develop a “blue-collar” work ethic.
Thanks to the supportive faculty and the ability to chart my own education, USU has helped me to acquire a “white-collar” education. I was also constantly encouraged to dig in and give back with a “blue-collar” work ethic. These two, partnered together, have set me up for a successful career after graduation. This Aggie bleeds blue and white and owes that to the Huntsman School of Business.
— Tyler Nielsen 
     Business Council 
     VP of Graduate Studies

Monday, May 6, 2013

Churned Up Earth Becomes Pleasant Lawn in Less Than a Week

Ken Snyder
Ken Snyder
Utah State University students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends can now do something on campus they haven’t been able to do for nearly a year – walk on the grass in front of the George S. Eccles Business Building.

For almost a year the earth has been moving in front of our building and with so much dirt piled about, it was almost easier to envision a swimming pool was about the be installed than it was to think that grass would soon return. But the campus utility tunnels have been connected to the building and in a matter of days all that construction work has been transformed into a respectable front lawn just in time for graduation.

For those of you who haven’t been on campus for a week or those who have been spending all your time buried in books preparing for finals, it may be hard to believe this transformation has come about so fast, so I’m including a couple of pictures so you can see I’m not making this up.

We don’t have the final landscape designs yet for what the area around the two buildings will look like but we do know this new grass will probably be disturbed again before all the dust settles from Huntsman Hall. We now have a temporary lawn in front of the building, however, and it will probably be there for more than a year.

In this case a healthy lawn is a welcome sign of progress and it’s back in place just in time for summer. Nice.