Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Greetings from Josh Perry, New Undergraduate Chairperson


Since joining the Kelley faculty in 2009, I’ve witnessed firsthand the incredible opportunity that a Kelley education affords. It’s not only the teaching of our world-class faculty and the guidance from the top career services office in the nation – but also the chance to get involved in deep and meaningful ways with dynamic experiences outside the classroom, both locally and globally. At Kelley, you’re not just a student studying business. You are pursuing your purpose, developing your professional identity, and preparing to be a leader in your organization and community.

Whether you’re a senior serving in a club leadership role, a junior about to experience I-Core, a sophomore looking forward to your first experience traveling abroad or a freshman still learning your way around campus, I hope that you will see this new academic year as an opportunity to become even more invested in building our Kelley culture and your future as a Kelley alum.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Early-Career Communication Part 3: Leading Without Authority


Kendell Brown
By  Kendell Brown, Associate Director of Graduate Career Services

Articulating a vision and getting people to work toward that vision is formidable for many. Motivating clients, peers and other key stakeholders can be particularly challenging for someone who doesn’t have a title that commands action. However, for you to be personally successful, that success has to come as part of a broader effort. I am going to highlight 4 characteristics that can help you lead despite having no specific authority to do so.

Speak confidently.

If you speak confidently and in a manner that underscores a belief in what you are saying, you are likely to get others to agree. Meaning people want to follow the lead of someone that appears knowledgeable and self-assured. 

It is necessary to note that sometimes people will undermine their own confidence by saying things like “I’m not sure, if you’ll agree” or “Is that in line with what you were thinking?” When you are rallying people and getting them to do what you want - refrain from using qualifying and confirmatory language, it will weaken you and your ideas. Instead focus on speaking with certainty and assurance.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Early-Career Communication Part 2: Getting Buy-in


Kendell Brown, Associate Director of Graduate Career Services
The ability to influence is essential to leadership. If you can get people to buy into an idea that you set forth, you’re golden. But how can you get people to listen and take you seriously when you are the most junior person on the team? I’m going to guide you through a step-by-step plan you can use to get the buy-in you want.

Developing a thorough plan shows the upfront effort you have already made, in addition to highlighting your commitment to the idea. This course of action should include key steps, decision points and goals. With a clearly articulated action it is easier for people understand your ideas, rationale and goals and thus put forth the effort necessary to achieve your vision.

In business, facts trump theory, so find what you can to support your idea and bolster your plan. Do an analysis, “run the numbers”, create a case study - the idea is to accumulate evidence to show that you’ve done your homework and that your suggestion isn’t a fly by night proposal. Another form of evidence gathering is to become a subject matter expert. Take the time to learn the ins and outs of a process, a client, a tool, etc. – know the good and bad points, become the “go-to” person in the office on that topic. When it’s common knowledge that you know more than anyone on particular subject, your opinions and plans on that subject will carry significant weight.

Let’s say you’ve got a plan to grow the margin on the team’s 3rd largest product line. If you’ve been exclusively managing the product line and you’ve done a thorough analysis of the biggest factors affecting the line’s margin – your idea will get heard because you know the business better than anyone else.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Early-Career Communication Part 1: Expressing Dissent

Kendell Brown, Associate Director of Graduate Career Services
How can you express dissent without sounding like a troublemaker? The key is to respectfully and intelligently highlight your thoughts and opinions without letting your emotions get in the way. Here are several strategies you can utilize. Each strategy works best in a particular scenario. So think through the situation you find yourself in and choose the option that is best.

Option 1 – Ask questions.

You can pose questions for the team to consider. Questions like – “Did anyone consider how the new pricing system would impact our smaller customers?” or “What about thinking through the likelihood that Legal will agree to those revised contract terms?” This way you are not seen as the one trying to kill an idea, instead you are viewed as someone who is thinking two-steps ahead of everyone else. When dissent is packaged this way, you are actually seen as being organizationally savvy enough to foresee potential roadblocks. Your comments may be construed as a “head’s up” versus negativity.

Option 2 – Highlight contra-indicative information.

Stating key facts is an alternative for highlighting a disagreement without fully owning it. A statement such as “Decreasing the timeline by 3 weeks will cause us to be 25% over budget.” A well-documented fact cannot be argued. In this situation, you are not seen as rabble rousing, instead you’ll be perceived as knowledgeable and informed. This is best for those times when you’re new to the team or you work in a highly consensus-building organization.