S2 E99 — Why Pay Over $100,000 When You Don’t Have To?

It was planned as a magnet for attracting the talent base to support growing financial, real estate and technology companies setting up shop on the former Irvine Ranch envisioned in the Irvine Company’s master plan.


“5”  Steve Howey, 42:You thought a thing ran its course. You thought you were done and wouldn’t return to it, but this business is, apparently, unfinished. Otherwise, it wouldn’t keep calling you back.” Cancer

Hi and welcome to Thursday’s Episode 99 in Season 2 of  “My Pandemic Year Natural Experiment” on this 20th day of August in the summer of 2020.  

“The Tau of Steves: What You Don’t Know Could Fill a Book”

Table of Contents

Season One and Two are a two-year examination of how bits of wisdom changed during the “normal” pre-pandemic and then in this unfolding pandemic year.

Previously in Season Two, the Pandemic Year

S2 E98 Why Your Company Simply Won’t Make It Out of Puberty; S2 E97Frame Blindness and Decision Traps; S2 E96Two Kindred Spirits Drawn to Mature Complications

Related from Season One, the Normal Year

S1 E99What’s in a Name? Baby Boy Names?; S1 E98Why Can’t I Leave 26 Orphans for a Well Deserved Vacation? ; S1 E97 My Top 19 Reasons for Failing; S1 E96Old Rabbits Die Hard


This is a continuation of “Volume Two Manuscript — WorkFit” a work-in-progress.

In previous episodes we described Start Up, Emerging Growth, Rapid Growth, Sustained Growth and Maturity stages.  But, each with the emphasis on how a specific stage provides another better fit opportunity for one or more of 16 Talent Profiles.

 We described two mini case studies of what it was like working behind the scenes at a mature companies in a financial and in a consumer industries.

33. Advisor — Executive and Healthcare MBA Program 

Part One.

The University of California opened its doors in 1869 with just 10 faculty members and 40 students. Today, the UC system has more than 280,000 students and 227,000 faculty and staff, with 2.0 million alumni living and working around the world.

One of 10 campuses in the UC System

UC’s academic health centers provide broad access to top-ranked specialized care, support clinical teaching programs and develop new therapies. For news about UC breakthroughs and health initiatives.

Nine years before I moved to Orange County, UCI became the youngest campus in the system.  It was planned as a magnet for attracting the talent base to support growing financial, real estate and technology companies setting up shop on the former Irvine Ranch envisioned in the Irvine Company’s master plan..

When I worked at Fairview State Hospital, one of the psychologists, a 115 Professional Practitioner,  hailed from the School of Social Ecology.  Co-workers felt he had been skating from his responsibilities at the hospital while he built up his private practice and taught at the university. 

No-one I knew understood what Social Ecology meant. In a way, as a half-time intern working in the morning in the residence hall and then in the afternoon at the Behavior Modification Institute in Newport Center, I might have been half-skating.

Later I befriended the University’s Veterans Advisor seeking his assistance as I transitioned from one career into another. I ended up helping him as he came to the end of his employment while a student in the School of Social Ecology.

Four Talent Profiles Attracted to Systematic-Professional Organizations

Image Credit: Stephen G. Howard  Copyright 2020

The campus and its library and its influence economically as Orange County’s second-largest employer (contributing $7 billion annually to the local economy and $8 billion statewide) made it a hub for researching potential careers and jobs.

In fact, I interviewed professors, 114 Brand-as-Experts and 116 Institutional Traditionalists,  who’s research matched my interests.  It what became the business school years later, I interviewed the dean who specialized in Organizational and Management Development to assess my chances at transitioning into that career.  

The more important side benefit came in the form of a list of business graduates identified by their Orange Count employers to conduct further interviews.

One in particular led to an offer a few months later to join an internal consulting, management development and training team in a mature, large engineering and construction company located in a cluster of mirror-glass buildings and a corporate tower.

Two Systematic-Professionals Attracted to Maturity Growth Stage

Image Credit: Stephen G. Howard  Copyright 2020

Too academic, we echoed the conclusion of the client from the century-old consumer goods who hired my former boss and me.  But we leveled it at an interdisciplinary team of professors we engaged to survey the implication of brand new technology at the engineering and construction company. 

More on that engagement later.

The main point being academic achievement and research — what my graduate advisor described as foundational instead of practical — is what the local university offers its more than 37,000 students and offers 222 degree programs. 

So, it came as a surprise when a former co-worker recommended me to consult on a long-term retainer to help Executive MBA students in the Business School find work during the first five years.  I, a 113 Idea Packager,  viewed it as career triage, because it began in the 2008-2009 academic year, when recent graduates felt betrayed by the admissions sales pitch which told them how much better off they would be financially.  

I focused on what worked, how to apply what each Gen-X and Millennial student with roughly 10 years of experience learned in their course work, how to support each other while on campus during the 2-year program and to interview alumni who could introduce them into opportunities before announced on any online site. 

What started as a 2-year engagement expanded into a decade which I view as a field test or a laboratory for the content in these second volume books.

I proposed a curriculum to the Director for him to review and meet with me.  “Why would anyone choose to come back to school for an executive MBA (and spend over $100,000 over two years) when you’ve got all they’d ever need in this curriculum?

What he referred to was how I divided the curriculum into two tracks, the perspective of a mid-career executive business student:  

Working for Yourself

    • Starting a Business Series: How to start a business from scratch despite what your family, friends and other fools tell you — increase the probability of survival within the first few years
    • Buying a Business or Franchise Series: How to buy a business or franchise that fits your career and business aspirations — manage and expand the growth of a proven business or franchise model with a successful formula in a specific location.
    • Consulting Practice Series: How to establish a mobile coaching or consulting practice — translate your technical expertise into a location independent business that complements your quality-of-life pursuits.

Working for an Organization

    • Intrapreneurial Series:  How to introduce sustainable growth through strategic innovation and get away with it — create your own internal entrepreneurial  position when normal channels to advancement or promotion are blocked.
    • Career Advancement Series:  How to get the most return on your Executive MBA investment in today’s economy — timing your job search campaign to successfully coincide with graduation or the shortest time after.
    • Career Change Series:  How to avoid the delays, pitfalls and mistakes most people make — timing your job search campaign to successfully coincide with graduation or the shortest time after.
    • Career Disruption Series: How to find a job without jeopardizing your educational or financial resources — how to maintain a sense of control and confidence during your transition by placing priority on activities with the highest probability of success.

Continued in Part Two.


Random ones that make me want change my sign.

“4”  Steve McQueen (1930 – 1980): “Smart people won’t have time to prove they are smart today because they will be too busy chasing their curiosity around. You can relate. Your interests will lead you to like minds.”  Aries 

Is this why I’m reaching out to mentors I formerly recruited into the Executive MBA program to get their take on how this pandemic is effecting them?

“4”  Steve Winwood, 71; Stevie Wonder, 69; Stephen Colbert, 56: “The novice is proud of and wants full recognition for talents and skills. The wise would rather go unlauded, realizing the strategic advantage in being underestimated.”  Taurus

Whoa, there partner.  This is so Sun Tzu of you.  Profound!

“5” Steve Smith, 30: “Human memory is flawed. Even the best memories are unreliable and susceptible to corrosion over time. Record things as you go. This is the most dependable way, and you’ll be glad you did.” Gemini

Somewhere back in time an “aha!” broke through my consciousness and whispered to me that it would be really cool if I did just that, so it would be cool if I could look back from on periods in my life from sometime in the future. I did and it does. 

“5”  Steve Howey, 42:You thought a thing ran its course. You thought you were done and wouldn’t return to it, but this business is, apparently, unfinished. Otherwise, it wouldn’t keep calling you back.” Cancer

Dammit, you’re right.  Is that the sign that I’m obsessed?

“3”  Steve Greene, 34; Steve Guttenberg, 61:Modern society’s overemphasis on identity is as common as it is problematic. It’s useful to know what you want and what you like, but that shouldn’t be confused with who you are.” Virgo

Profound, yes.  Relevant for me today?  Not off the scales, although in my first career I leaned on Robert Ornstein’s take on our consciousness as it evolved over time leaving us with more than one identity that slips in and slips out of our mind.

“4”  Steve Kerr, 54:It’s hard to notice any particular thing in a cluttered environment. But whatever you drop into a blank space will get all the attention. This is why you clear your mind before concentrating on what you love.” Libra

Sure, I do practice this mantra, but also believe in the power of messy —  by Tim Harford, the author, “Messy: The Power of Disorder to Transform our Lives” who writes Brian Eno’s makes his messy work for him, because he’s got several creative projects in the works at various stages.  If or when one doesn’t pan out, he simply switches to one of his others to bring it to fruition.

“5”  Steve Aoki, 41: “You care deeply about an idea and will work to bring it into the real world. Because you cannot give this same treatment to every idea, you’ll also be letting go of ideas you don’t think are very actionable.” Sagittarius

As my dear old dad would say, “Amen, brother!”  I get the letting go of ideas that aren’t very actionable, but this passion project, “Volume Two Manuscript —WorkFit” as an obsession pulls me forward after all these years.

What’s Going On

Literally Bottled and Set Adrift from KnowWhere Atoll 

    • @knowlabs followers of one or more of my 35 digital magazines organically grew from 4733 to 4807.




    • Saw the movie, didn’t realize that one of my favorite authors, Michael Connelly — his detective Hieronymus (Harry) Bosch book series and Amazon Prime series — also wrote, “The Lincoln Lawyer” which I just finished. Gotta tell you I can’t not see his lead character (Mickey Haller, Bosch’s half brother) as anyone else but Matthew McConaughey. 

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Inspired by: Holiday Mathis – Creators Syndicate


The Knowledge Path | Know Laboratories | Knowledge Banking | Knowledge ATMs | Western Skies and Island Currents | Best West Road Trip