On to the Economics lecture - yep, a 2.5 hour lecture 15 minutes after an hour and a half exam, that's drinking right out of the fire hose for you. We were all fried toward the end of it, but it was one of the best lectures, nonetheless. We discussed monopolies, deregulation, and price discrimination.
California Energy Crisis - apparently, the lawmakers deregulated the supplier (bulk energy generation) market, but not the consumer market, putting the local suppliers (who buy from bulk suppliers and sell to consumers) in a tough spot. To add insult to injury, they prohibited the local suppliers from making long-term contracts with bulk suppliers. Crisis was inevitable.
Sneaky Coke Machines - new vending machines are being introduced in Texas that include a thermometer and hike up soda prices as the temperature goes up to match increasing demand!
Pharmaceuticals and International Competition - this was a very interesting topic, and with a few Merck and other pharma classmates, resulted in a lively debate. The US is paying the highest prices for drugs, basically subsidizing the costs of R&D for the rest of the world. The prices here are exorbitant, and everyone thinks that regulation is and should be coming (especially if the democrats win in November).
The 3 hour accounting lecture is not worth mentioning - all technical stuff. The good news is that having spent the last week and a half studying, I am feeling much more confident there.
Twenty five minute break followed by a 2 hour leadership class. By this time we are all pretty much dead; however, the leadership professor, is, well, a very good leader, indeed. He somehow managed to get us all energized again. The goal of the course, as he stated, is to "push us to think about our own leadership templates." For example, Jack Welch (the famous CEO of GE), whom the professor has met many times, said that he sees himself as a gardner - watering good subordinates and occasionally, but swiftly weeding out the bad.
How to remember people's names: in order to be a good leader you need to know who you are leading. Remembering people's names is one of my weaknesses, so I was interested to hear some tips. FACE (Focus on the person, Ask him or her questions, Connect some fact or feature with the name, Express the name by repeatedly saying it in the conversation) seems to be a good principle. Other suggestions were associating the person with someone else you know with that name and writing a key feature of the person on the back of their business card.
Stage presence: leaders and good presenters have a stage presence - expressed in motion, strong voice, confident posture, eye contact with the audience.
How much is a good leader worth? In dollars, please. We all laughed when he asked this question, but, apparently, the market puts a good dollar figure on leaders. When AT&T's COO was appointed, the stock lost $3 billion in 5 days in 1996; on the other hand, Kodak's new CFO in 1993 and 3M's new CEO in 2000 added $3-5 billion to the company's valuation within a week. And these changes were not short term spikes.
IBM and Lotus we ended the session with another case near and dear to my heart - the acquisition of Lotus by IBM, the outcome of which is being lived by alehhandro.
Twenty to drop off the books and head out for a pool party at the leadership professor's house. But that's another story.