Drucker Day 2019 – Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient, Professor Jean Lipman Blumen

Drucker Day 2019 – Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient, Professor Jean Lipman Blumen


– We want to now turn our attention to our good colleague
and, or former colleague, Jean Lipman-Blumen, who retired after quite a long time serving CGU, 35 years of service teaching leadership and doing research on behalf of women and leaders. So I want to invite all
of the Drucker faculty to the stage, please, Linda, please come up
as well, Linda Perkins. Adjunct faculty, please, you’re welcome, I know Rowland’s here, please come up. And other CGU faculty who I’ve overlooked, who would like to be part
of the platform party, to celebrate Jean’s success, thank you. I’d also now, as the
faculty are coming up, like to welcome David Drew, who’s gonna say words
on behalf of all of us, to give full credit to Jean’s career. So, David, thank you. – Today, we recognize Jean, for a lifetime of achievement. I also wanna thank her for
a lifetime of friendship. Jean and I first met as graduate students, together in the same
Ph.D. program at Harvard. She was a Wellesley graduate
with small children. We’ve heard about a couple of, a number of women pioneers. Jean was a pioneer. I suspect she was the only graduate student at Harvard who was a married woman with small children. Those very small children,
I’m pleased to learn, are here today in the fourth row. Over the years, I’ve had a unique window to view her extraordinary life and career. What I’ve seen, boils down to three words. Excellence, integrity, and courage. The impact of Jean’s work is incalculable. She consistently focuses on excellence in every aspect of her work, whether talking informally with a student, teaching a class, conducting
research, or writing. Her work has had a worldwide impact. Several years ago, I
was at Yale University, and talked with an
undergraduate from Uganda who was studying theology. I mentioned to her that
she might be interested in some of my friend, Jean
Lipman-Blumen’s, writings. She had read Jean’s work,
it had inspired her, and she was so impressed that I knew Jean, it was though I had said I knew Elvis. (audience laughs) One of Jean’s books was
nominated for a Pulitzer, another, co-authored with
her late husband Hal, was named the Business Book of the Year. Yet another was listed as one of the Ten Best Business
Books of that year. The major professional organization of scholars who study
leadership around the globe, the International Leadership Association, recognized her with a prestigious award. One indicator of Jean’s visibility, and the respect she commands, an indicator that wouldn’t be available to everybody that a friend might know, is a series of job offers
that she turned down after she made a commitment to CGU, and to building a life
with Hal in this community. Jean grew up in Boston. Has New England manners,
believes in modesty. I know Jean well enough to know that she would not want me to identify any specific offer today. Suffice it to say that most
of us here, in this room, would’ve killed to be
offered one of those jobs. Most recently, Jean has
become very involved in working for peace and in Peace Studies. Nelson Mandela once said, “Great peacemakers are all people of integrity, of honesty,
but also with humility.” He must’ve been thinking
of Jean Lipman-Blumen. (audience applauds) – We would now like to invite two of Jean’s former students, Cheryl Petersen and Stephanie Van Ginkel, to the stage to say some words and present an award on our behalf. Thank you. – Ah, no pressure. Thank you. We are honored to be here for
this very special occasion. When Stephanie and I received the call to honor Jean with a
Lifetime Achievement Award, we knew our voices would not be enough to speak about the
legacy of this brilliant- If I break down, just bear with me. Brilliant and beautiful individual. We could speak for hours about her. Tell you stories that made
us laugh and made us cry. Question everything in leadership, and think in ways we never thought to. She has more than three
decades of students. Students that have had the honor to work with her, learn from her, and be transformed by her. So, with that, we took the task to reach out to her students
and share their comments of how she impacted their lives, with you. We received comments from past students and teaching assistants, just
like Stephanie and myself. We heard from students
across all disciplines, including doctoral and master’s students from the School of Education, Psychology, Politics and Economics, and Computer Information
Systems and Technology, as well as MBA and EMBA students from the Drucker School of Management. The stories that we
received were thoughtful, and it is impossible to
share every detail here. – Consistent among her students were comments of Jean’s kindness, and how she has impacted their lives as people, leaders, and that that impact will continue into the future through the lives that they touch. Her past students shared
that their connection with Jean extended beyond the classroom, and transcended time, many communicating with her regularly through the years. We heard stories of ways
that Jean touched their lives during loss, challenge, or trauma, and how her compassion and
empathy helped and changed them. Jean’s past students
shared how her passion for world peace left a resounding
imprint on their lives, and that her commitment
to peace is unrelenting, as witnessed in numerous discussions and her very own Peace Plan. Students recall her now-infamous Do Not Dare to Die Before
You Read book list, that is as extensive as her course list. We heard how Jean encouraged students to wrestle with the
reading material’s meaning and importance of writing clearly. Students all agree that
she is a great mentor, pushing their limits and
what they think they know. That, in itself, has
changed their lives forever. – Rashida Fike shared
that Jean challenged her to think about the
characteristics of true leaders, and encouraged her to emulate them. She also vividly describes toxic leaders and reminded us of how
that kind of leadership can bring destruction to individuals, countries, and the world. Scott Kusen describes Jean as both kind and unrelentingly stretching,
unwilling to compromise a single thought or value
for the sake of convenience. He is moved by her
extraordinary depth of knowledge and skill to challenge her students to rise and bring their best. Heather Dyer reflected
on her six-year-old son’s friendship with Professor Jean. “I can think of no greater
role model for Jack. “She promotes and lives the values “I want him to embrace,
like lifelong learning, “kindness and acceptance of all people, “and that every single person “must contribute to world peace.” – Over and over again,
students described her as an amazing and favorite professor, asking hard questions
and not allowing them to give up without answering them. AJ Teshavi shared how Jean’s question, leadership for what? That stays with him even today and impacts the significant
work that he does. Jeanne Holm reflected that Jean poked at her woefully unaspirational
models of the world, and took her class to a whole
new level of applied learning, which has impacted her
expansive work, as well. Beverly Keith stated that Jean, without any hesitation, is the reason why she chose to attend the Drucker School with a commitment to want to listen and learn with, and from, her. – Her students describe
her as kind, humble, approachable, unrelenting, beautiful, compassionate, patient,
empathetic, and classy, with an unflinching drive for better work. Marquisha Spencer referred to Jean as, a true gift of her education and her life. As with so many students, she said that Jean helped her understand the world and understand herself. She noted that Jean is the epitome of thinking critically,
and has a way of teaching by way of connecting
to students, material, the past, the present,
and the potential future. – It would be impossible
to tell the stories of all those whom Jean has influenced over the span of her
impactful, deliberate, and illustrious career as an educator. More than anything we can
say about her accomplishments or her other extensive work, the hundreds of students, professionals, and leaders are her legacy. The lives they have gone on to transform, the organizations they
have gone on to lead, the peace they have gone on to champion. She is a woman of connection and peace. This and so much more is the legacy of Jean Lipman-Blumen. It is only appropriate that she receives the Lifetime Achievement
Award, because all of her work will outlast many lifetimes and the lives she has touched, changed, and inspired. And, with that, it is a great honor, and our pleasure, to now present the Lifetime Achievement
Award to Jean Lipman-Blumen. (audience applauds) (Cheryl laughs) – You’re worth it! Of course we did! – [Man in Audience] Yeah, Jean! (audience applauds and cheers) – Thank you, thank you,
thank one and all of you. I know that… You’ve all been here for quite a while. And you’ve listened to some incredible conversations and comments, and I will not keep you longer. I am really totally speechless after those kind words. Well, almost totally speechless. (audience laughs) Professors habitually talk
in three-hour soundbites. I promise you not to take that long. Needless to say, this is a
very special moment for me. The stars seem to have aligned perfectly, because not only am I being honored by this special award today, but today also happens
to be my son’s birthday and tomorrow is my eldest
daughter’s birthday, as well. So we are all being brought together from various corners of the
world, again, by destiny. Happy Birthday, dear. As a Bostonian, I was brought up by a mother who insisted on
my writing thank you notes. And this is precisely that. A giant, decades-long thank you note to everyone here today, both
in body and those in spirit, who have contributed so much to my life. However, as a Bostonian, I have also spent many sleepless nights worrying about how to thank everyone who has contributed to my life, without forgetting anyone. Another Boston hangup. Trained as a sociologist,
as David mentioned, I decided to solve this dilemma by speaking about the roles people have, the roles people have played in my life, rather than mentioning names, other than Peter Drucker,
who invited me to CGU, and whose legacy we,
legitimately and rightly, celebrate today. David Drew, my graduate
school classmate at Harvard, who convinced me to
accept Peter’s invitation, because, at that point in
history, that was in 1983, everybody wanted to have a token woman. Not a real woman, a token woman. (audience laughs) It reminded me, I was working
in Washington at the time, and it reminded me of
tourists who would come to Washington and stand beside a cutout, a cardboard cutout of the President and have their picture taken. Well I had the feeling that’s, I’m not impugning Peter, I felt that’s what the
institution was looking for. David called me one Sunday morning and convinced me that that wasn’t true. So I did come with the intention of staying only one year, but you see it was prospective students, I came with the idea of staying one year, it was so great, I stayed 35. And I really want to thank David, who has been my CGU alter-ego, lo these many years here, and also the late Harold Leavitt, my intellectual collaborator and soulmate. In thinking about how I
ended up on this stage today, I’ve narrowed it down
to two types of T-L-C. Type one TLC is the TLC you all know, you all know the better
variety, tender loving care, by more family, friends, and colleagues, including faculty colleagues, administrative support staff, as well as devoted students, than I can possibly mention,
or we would be here, not for three hours but for three weeks. I think of you all as
my family writ large. And I shall come back to
type two TLC momentarily. Many wonderful, generous,
kind, brilliant people have brought me to this point by TLC type one, tender loving care, type one. Beginning with my parents and sister, my late husband and kindred spirit, my beloved children, their spouses, my grandchildren and
their significant others, all of whom have come
from far and wide today to share this day with me. And I also thank my dear
Harwich Road family, they know who they are, they’re here. These are my close-knit family, all of these people, my close-knit family, writ small and deep. When I move beyond my kin, I also received type one TLC, tender loving care, from my eighth-grade English teacher, much to the chagrin and
regret of all of my students, as you might imagine when
I’m editing their papers. My own undergraduate and
graduate professors and mentors, who set me on this intellectual journey, and my feminist associates, with whom I work very
hard on women’s issues, but I regret to say, when
I look at the progress that women have made since I was in Washington in 1979,
and where they are today, I am appalled, simply appalled. One small statistic. Women in 1979 were making, I’m sorry, in 1973, were making 79 cents on the dollar that men made. What do you think that number is today? Anybody? – [Audience Member] 80. – Barely. I’ve heard reports from
79 to 81 or two cents. And black women? 46 cents. Appalling, really appalling. So, and let’s remember,
that yesterday also was International Women’s Day. I’ve received TLC from
my Claremont colleagues throughout the consortium and others worldwide with
whom I’ve collaborated on leadership issues,
particularly the ILA, the International Leadership Association. Closer to home, I want to thank our incredible new president, the board, our current remarkable Drucker
dean, and her predecessors, administrators of all
levels of CGU and Drucker, and every faculty
colleague, past and present, including Dick Ellsworth. Plus my fantastic
administrative assistant, the Hagelbarger people who feed us, okay? The physical plant workers, who come in and clean my office when I’m not even there. And the campus security
who walk me to my car in the dark after class
at 10 o’clock at night. And the people who conceived and put this whole thing together. I am in your thrall. Finally, I would be remiss indeed if I did not thank my remarkable students and teaching assistants. And you saw the caliber of
teaching assistants I’ve had. That’s why I could be a good professor. And everyone, mostly former students, everyone who has been a part
of the Connective Leadership that Hal Leavitt and I
started almost 40 years ago, to try to improve leadership in organizations worldwide. I believe I have, I have learned more from you fantastic students,
including those of you who have Skyped in today from Japan, so I say hi to all of you, than you have ever learned from me. I am truly humbled and I thank you. Now let’s spend about two minutes talking about the other type of TLC. Type two TLC. The issues that have brought me to this point in my professional life. Here, TLC seems to mean
something different. Something somewhat different. I call this, the T stands for transformative purpose. The L stands for leadership, and the C stands for compassion,
mixed with connectivity. More specifically, in type 2 TLC, the T stands for transformative purpose, you might call that an
ennobling enterprise. Something that the leader or you identify that other people can participate in and derive meaning in their lives as they contribute to the world. And that goal would be, would transform, if it were fulfilled, would transform the world for the better, even in the smallest degree. From a new slide in a
children’s neighborhood park to the largest impact, thinking about climate
change, for example. Everyone here, I’m sure, has his or her own transformative purpose or purposes. For me, in recent years,
as some of you know, it’s been seeking paths to peace. First, through creating
a web-based open-source connective leadership strategy for peace, which is on the web. And I invite each and every one of you and your friends, to tear it apart, put it back together, make it better, change it, it really needs your help. So please, please think of that. And, more recently, by
working with students at CGU and administrators, and faculty, to promote what the students are demanding as a required course, think of that. The students demanding a course that’s required for graduation, instead of the faculty
and the administrators saying this is what you
have to take for graduation. Because it is a course on peace, because we think and we
hope that we are training decision-makers of the future. And what we want is for
those decision-makers to look through that lens of peace every time they make a decision. This course will be unique, in that it will be a required graduation course and, again, not imposed by the faculty. The students are imposing
it on the faculty, they’re saying, faculty,
get your act together. You know, create a course
on peace that’s meaningful, so that we can understand how to create and maintain a more peaceful world. At CGU, I also envision and hope for a Center for Conflict Resolution, where parties with seemingly
intractable conflicts can seek a rapprochement. Let’s hope the world
catches our virus, okay? In type two TLC, the L, as I said, stands for leadership. Particularly what I call
connective leadership, which I think is sorely needed, as we move into an era when the contradictory forces of diversity and interdependence escalate tensions. When diverse individuals and groups, locally and globally, inevitably must live and work together, we need leaders who know
how to bring them together, not set them against one another. Who know how to identify their perhaps very small, minute points of intersection and agreement, and build on those. And technology is gonna
force us to do this, whether we like it or not, because we cannot escape
this interdependence that technology is heating
up for us every day. In this frightening, terrifying, I think, historical moment, we’re witnessing a dramatic increase in the ranks of toxic leaders, worldwide. To address this crisis,
we need more leaders who can bring us together
to work peacefully and productively on crucial issues that affect every single one of us, like climate change, health, as we heard about this morning, education, race relationships, gender relationships, and much more. That is why I intend to
devote my retirement, which, some of you know, I put a hyphen in that, it’s re-tirement. That means putting new
tires on an old buggy, (audience laughs) and going off in a
different direction, okay? So I want to train more
leadership scholars, coaches, organizational
consultants, and practitioners, in our Connective Leadership
Institute seminars in Pasadena, and that’s
what I intend to do and finish my book on crisis and leadership, how to lead in crisis. And finally, the C in type two TLC, stands for a host of related factors. Concern, compassion,
commonalities, connectivity, that can lead us all the seek the big C: change in ourselves and
communion with others who see issues very differently. As my son correctly reminds me, this requires empathy for others who espouse different
perspectives and values. We need to view them
with the same compassion with which we view ourselves. He recently wrote to me,
we must embrace change and difference in ourselves,
and those who embody it. Where does this take us? I believe it can lead us to
the great gift of ubuntu, the South African concept that means, a person is a person through other people. It is often translated,
I am because you are. It is a concept of common
humanity, of oneness. It suggests I become more what I can be because I meet and know you. And I profoundly believe
that I am who I am because of all of you,
and the many students and colleagues I’ve had around the world. So perhaps type one and type two TLC aren’t all that different, after all. They both entail tender loving care. Type one at the personal level, type two at the group,
even the global level. Thank you all, my family
writ small, indeed, and my family writ large. I shall never forget you. Stay connected. Thank you. (audience applauds) Thank you, thank you all.

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