Lectures grace spring calendar.

Two recent lectures in the College of Business Administration drew audiences that may have differed in their business interests, but not in their enthusiasm for what the speakers presented.

On March 24, 2008, Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Ernest L. Arbuckle Professor, Harvard Business School, spoke about “Leadership Skills for Changing Times: Creating Innovative Businesses and a Prosperous America” to an audience of approximately 75. Two days later, real estate “artist” Frank McKinney, a builder of homes with price points in excess of $50M captivated a similar number with an energetic message aimed at the members of the sponsoring organization, the Real Estate Student Association (RESA), and the Finance and Real Estate Department.

McKinney gives audience insights into selling wisely to the wealthy.

For Sam Kantor, president of RESA, McKinney’s appearance was a personal validation of persistence—a good skill in any business field. McKinney came to campus thanks to Kantor’s follow through after inviting him. It also was a chance for Kantor to hear how McKinney has built a business selling to the ultra-wealthy and to learn where he sees the market going.

Sam Kantor
Sam Kantor

According to William Hardin, associate professor, Finance and Real Estate Department and director, real estate programs, “McKinney stressed the need to know the market for your product, to understand risk, and to give back to the community.”

“I was happy to see RESA becoming active and look forward to more events like this,” said John Zdanowicz, professor, Department of Finance and Real Estate and director of the Jerome Bain Real Estate Institute, which funded refreshments and is financially supporting RESA.

Frank McKinney Lecture – Part I[flv:http://itv.fiu.edu/uploads/TaexRFMepMlLu2ZuYfVc.flv 500 334]

Frank McKinney Lecture – Part II[flv:http://itv.fiu.edu/uploads/webHq5JsKEjYo3qUUuGa.flv 500 334]

Kanter lecture explores principles of leadership.

“Kanter provided a rich perspective on how to foster and nurture the next generation of leaders in the global environment,” said Sumit Kundu, Knight Ridder Center Research Professor, Department of Management and International Business. “She drew on ideas set out in her latest book, America the Principled: 6 Opportunities for Becoming a Can-Do Nation Once Again.”

Rosabeth Moss Kanter

The idea of “can-do” suggests winning, so it was no surprise that Kanter explored many aspects of winning—including its relationship to hard work and discipline; the importance of tapping the talent of teams; the notion that “winners think small and big”; and effective ways to handle losing. She also explained “the Kanter Law”: “Everything can look like failure in the middle.”

In response to a question from Kundu on succession planning, she urged attendees to participate in their communities, which she does through her involvement—partially as a member of the board of trustees—in City Year, a one-year service opportunity for people from all backgrounds. Two members of City Year Miami, Aaron Gougis and Jennifer Godinez, attended the lecture and embodied the idea of sustaining leaders by investing in youth.

“I was inspired by her saying that young individuals can change the world,” Gougis said, “and I have gotten the chance to grow and lead through City Year.”

For Godinez, the City Year experience, falling between undergraduate and graduate school, is giving her the “chance to lead a large group of youth and meet with community leaders.”

The Kanter lecture was part of the Herbert A. Wertheim Lecture Series, which has brought distinguished speakers and experts in business leadership and entrepreneurship to Florida International University since 1993.

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