This course was created by Pete Mockaitis of How to Be Awesome at Your Job. We are pleased to offer this training in our library.
Skill Level Beginner
- I tell my students that, my undergrads especially, that life ultimately is an open book exam that has three questions and the questions are who am I? The second question is what am I going to do? And the third question is who am I going to do it with? And I was very fortunate to get the third question answered very early on. - Oh, beautiful, so I'd love to hear a little bit about this course and talking about success. That's one of the things you're really famous for was creating and teaching the success course at Wharton. Could you tell us a little bit of the back story for how'd that get up and going and what's the goal? - Sure, I have been at Wharton for, ever since I was 37 years old so when I started teaching in 1986 that was, basically, I was hired on as a legal studies professor. We have law courses and teach business law and then as the years went on I became an expert in negotiation and persuasion but in the back of my mind, always, was this very formative period of my life in my 20s when I really went to school on all the how to succeed books and investigated lots of different success seminars and transcendental meditation and all kinds of different things just as I was on a sort of quest to find out who I was and I recognized that the college students today are no more certain than I was when I was a college student and that I would have really loved to have had a course when I was in college that sort of laid out the landscape of these different theories of success and basic ideas on how people go about achieving it whether it's with the power of their minds or their social skills or all the different theories that get put out there so I thought "What would be the perfect course that I could teach "that would help students the most that I could "possibly help them and use every teaching trick, "tool, device, exercise that I could come up with?" And so it was really a challenge to myself to create you know, what I thought would be just the highest value added course that I was capable of teaching. So I put it together and got the Wharton faculty to approve it, which is no small task since it wasn't completely obvious that is was about business as much as it was about sort of human interaction and the sort of overall purpose of life. They sort of thought that it ought to be in the English department or maybe the psychology department but they let me do it anyway and so I began teaching it roughly 10 years ago, 11 years ago now, and every year I've taught it I've changed it and iterated it and the students who've taken it have sort of partnered with me to bring it up-to-date and to make it relevant for them and so it's just a wonderful course and it's really a chance for these students, for a whole semester, to just investigate these two major questions that they'll be asking for the rest of their lives, what do I mean by success and given what I think I mean, how do I got about achieving it? And I kind of think it's not so much a course that gives the answers to those questions as much as it teaches them how to think about those questions so that when they hit different parts of their lives, there's obviously a big moment when they graduate from college and they have their first job but they'll hit it again in the middle of their 20s when they are trying to figure out what the next job might be or whether they want to go to grad school. It'll hit again when they start a family and they have to make compromises about where they might have to live or if their partner needs to move or they get downsized or outsourced or something and they have to decide what to do next and they'll hit it at the end when they're getting ready to retire from their career and they have to decide how to spend their years after their career. So everybody hits these questions, what do I mean by success at the next stage of my life and what capabilities do I bring and I think the capabilities increase. You know, you've got a certain set when you're 22 but by the time you're 42 you've got a lot more and if you're thinking about it carefully you aggregate those capabilities, find more focused ways to get all of them engaged at the same time and you add more and more value to whatever you're doing when you do that.