60 minutes | Apr 13th 2021

S2 E4 - Seeing Well and Leading Well

When entrepreneurialism and academia collide, you end up with a conversation that gets to the heart of discourse in our culture. Mitch is joined by Rita Kirk in an interview that brings new perspectives to a world where communication is easy to access but hard to master. Mitch opens the episode by asking Rita Kirk, Ph.D., Professor of Corporate Communication and Public Affairs and endowed Director at the Maguire Center for Ethics and Responsibility at Southern Methodist University about her experience in entrepreneurialism as an academician. Rita responds that teaching is the epitome of entrepreneurialism because it’s a field of solving problems for the world. She then talks about how her experience in an underwater photography class gave her a new perspective on entrepreneurialism and what it takes to succeed. Mitch asks Rita about her top three principles of effective communication and Rita responds with insightful thoughts from both academic and personal points of view. She notes hometown hero, J. William Fulbright, as one of her role models who helped in the formation of her career goal of ending hate speech. The pair move on to talking about common communication errors and Rita gives a surprising answer about what she sees in her students recently. The conversation turns to Rita’s experience in the political strategy arena and a poignant story about knowing your worth. She delves into a memory about a political campaign that was destroyed from the inside out, and how corporate values cannot just be something hidden on a Web site. They must be put into practice. Mitch asks Rita about her greatest joy and the two talk about the rather unique reading material her dad chose during her formative years, leading the conversation to the topic of failure. Rita announces exactly what she’d like to be doing when she draws her dying breath and relays the story of William Wilberforce as an example. The topic of Rita’s book, Hate Speech, is broached and Rita shares her personal belief on how hate is born. Mitch likens the conversation to unity versus conformity and compares it to a husband and wife who don’t agree on everything. Rita shares a story of a student who found a way to ignore the hate speech that was thrown at her. Mitch and Rita finally get down to business discussing where to get the best Mexican food in The Big D – Dallas. Rita will be taking Mitch to Jalisco Norte in the Oak Lawn section of the city, where they will start with a Bring the Heat, a pineapple-jalapeno mixed drink. They’ll order Queso Cowboy, Osso Bucco, Milpa and Tres Leches. Rita gives a mouth-watering description of each and decides to call an Uber. Table Talk: Mitch dives straight into his thoughts on Rita’s interview and Gil immediately reminds him that he hasn’t introduced the other people at the table. Mitch narrowly escapes insulting Erin’s age and, finally, the three of them, along with Isaac the Former Intern, dive into the conversation. Gil was moved by Rita’s segment on hate speech and losing the ability to disagree respectfully. He agrees that hate speech does not make the world a better place. Isaac notes that higher education truly is entrepreneurial because it involves the constant creation of new information. He acknowledges that there are many ways to start the journey as a lifelong learner, but says he hates that college and university get a bad rap as one of those routes. Mitch questions Isaac’s use of the word hate in the context of this interview. Gil chimes in about writing a thesis and the entrepreneurial spirit that must go into creating something from nothing. Mitch shares his weird but thought-provoking knowledge of teaching, knowing, and doing…and that the three aren’t always in that order. Erin attended Southern Methodist University and says that Rita probably wondered if Erin was stalking her because Erin sought out Rita’s classes for four years. The conversation about the culture of avoiding risk spoke personally and globally to Erin, who is a recovering perfectionist. Erin mentions her college friend, Adam Russo, who has made an impact on thousands of parents with his presentation on the importance of letting your kids fail. Mitch waxes philosophical about poppies growing in Australia and Erin poses a question about cancel culture. The conversation turns toward speaker and author Deborah Hirsch and her ground-breaking formula that helps companies move from conformity to unity. Links: Hate Speech by Rita Kirk and David Slayden https://www.amazon.com/Hate-Speech-Rita-Kirk-Whillock/dp/0803972083/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=hate+speech+rita+kirk&qid=1618246943&sr=8-1 Rita’s Web site https://ritakirk.com/ Adam Russo https://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/naperville-sun/ct-nvs-letting-kids-fail-st-0131-20160131-story.html Deborah Hirsch https://twitter.com/debrahirsch?lang=en About Our Sponsor: Executive Scheduling Associates employs 120 professional schedulers filling the sales calendars of 500 financial wholesalers across North America. And we now provide short-term services dispositioning event and cold contact lists. Ask us for details at esasolutions.com. Subscribe to our podcast on Apple, Spotify, Google, and Stitcher. Follow us: Website Facebook Instagram LinkedIn
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