Most CEOs spend the latter years of their professional lives giving presentations in high-pressure board rooms for select groups of middle-aged power brokers, not in lecture halls filled with green but eager business students. However, a few such as Neil Braun, Dean of Pace’s Lubin School of Business and former President of NBC Television Network, have opted to venture into the world of higher education … using their corporate experience to mold a new generation of top executives.
Neil Braun, dean of Pace University’s Lubin School of Business and former CEO of Viacom Entertainment: Having worked as the top executive at numerous firms—including entertainment giant Viacom—during his 33-year career, and no longer satisfied with the rewards of his day job, Braun told U.S. News & World Report that he yearned to impart the knowledge he’d gleaned to a younger generation. After searching for vacant administrative positions at business schools in the New York metropolitan area, he landed at Pace in 2010, where, in addition to serving as dean, he routinely meets with student leaders and gave guest lectures in eight classes during the past year on topics ranging from leadership to competitive strategy.
Beyond the detailed advice he offers in those lectures, he advises all business students to learn to write well, to hone one very difficult analytical skill, and to familiarize themselves with areas of business outside of their specialty. Data analysts, for instance, should be able to freely converse with marketers about their duties, and vice versa, he says.
“I wish somebody had clued me in to some of this stuff when I was young, and contextualized all the trauma I had to go through—like we all do—in trying to figure this out,” he says. “I’m not being naïve in thinking that just by telling them I’m going to save them from anything, but I do get E-mails and feedback from people that they took one or two really important things that have made a difference in their lives.”
Lubin Professor Bruce Bachenheimer discusses the importance of leadership skill building in College PreView, a high school publication targeting college-bound juniors and seniors.
Putting Leadership Skills into Action
“To position themselves for a valuable career, college students need to demonstrate how they can add value to a prospective employer,” says Bruce Bachenheimer, clinical professor of management and director of entrepreneurship at Pace University, in the May/June issue of College PreView (pages 37-40). “They need to be able to solve problems creatively and to effectively implement solutions in a rapidly changing environment. To accomplish this, they will need to think entrepreneurially and take on a leadership role early in their career.”
“The role of a leader is to take people to a new place, to inspire them to do something they otherwise would not have done or even thought they could do,” adds Bachenheimer. “Think about how you can inspire fellow students and motivate them to take action!”
If Facebook were a nation, it would be the world’s third largest behind only China and India. Hundreds of new people join every hour. And at the helm stands fresh-faced self-made billionaire Mark Zuckerberg, who still wears T-shirts and jeans to work just as he did in 2004, when he co-founded the addictive social-networking site in his Harvard dorm room at age 19.
Lubin Marketing Professor Paul Kurnit comments on Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg’s leadership style, as well as how Facebook has changed the way we think, work and live.
Facebook is “the easy passport” to finding friends past and current without an email address or phone number. As Pace University clinical professor of marketing Paul Kurnit puts it in the May issue of SUCCESS magazine: “It’s about me, about us. It is the personal website that few of us could possibly build on our own.”
“Facebook is not driven by the leadership style of Mark Zuckerberg,” adds Kurnit. “It has become a runaway success function of Zuckerberg’s tremendous insight into what people want, how they relate and what socializing means online. Kind of a ‘build it and get out of the way’ idea.”