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Reflections on Practical Leadership with Dr. John A. White



Good leadership is essential to success, matters, and is not about you. Dr. John A. White has experienced this firsthand through 6 decades of leading and learning. He stresses that a leader should not focus on their success, instead they should put their team first and create an environment of listen, learn, love, then lead. This approach is not only beneficial for the leader, but also the team and the organization.

Key Points

  • Dr. John A. White shares stories that led him to write the book and the lessons he learned along the way. 
  • He discusses the difference between being a leader and being a manager. 
  • He gives practical advice to leading today.

Meet John

  • Name: Dr. John A. White 
  • His Story: Dr. John A. White is the author of Why it Matters: Reflections on Practical Leadership. The North Central Association of Colleges and Universities called the decade of the White’s leadership of the University of Arkansas transformational, noting significant improvements occurred in all dimensions of the university. During his 6-year service as Georgia Tech's engineering dean, the college advanced from being ranked 11th to being ranked 3rd by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Worth Mentioning: After stepping down as chancellor of the University of Arkansas, Dr. White was encouraged by faculty colleagues to offer a course on leadership. Though he'd been an engineering educator for forty-five years by then and had never taught a course that wasn't based on equations, he was intrigued by the idea of sharing his leadership journey with students. For the following nine years, Dr. White taught Leadership Practices and Principles to seniors and graduate students from every discipline, introducing them to fifteen guest leaders over each semester and holding in-depth, frank, and often emotional conversations about the challenges, joys, heartbreaks, and diversity of approaches to successful leadership.

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