In a strange set of coincidences, this turned out to be “University Week” for me. I am writing this in Lewisburg Pennsylvania, home of Bucknell University.
I am here mostly as chauffeur for my mother, who today witnessed the first University graduation of one of her grandchildren. I also got to watch my niece walk across the stage and pick up that diploma that she worked towards these past four years.
Listening to speeches always gets me thinking, and today a lot of time was spent praising the faculty. I guess that every school thinks that they have great teachers, but they sure did a great job of making a believer out of me here today.
Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of meeting some important people from the business schools of a few of the Montreal-based Universities.
As a participant in the FEA Program in Toronto this year (given by UBC’s Sauder Business Families Centre) I am interested in helping the Institute of Family Enterprise Advisors (IFEA) expand their reach across Canada, as they look for the right education partners.
I had offered their new President any help I could with the search for Quebec partner(s). This week she was in Montreal, and I met with her and people from HEC, McGill, and Concordia.
Now most of the talks were only in their very early stages and it is way too early to say what if anything may develop as a result. But for me it was an opportunity to talk about (okay, I was mostly listening) programs, courses, instructors, designations, etc.
The instructors that we have had in the FEAP course modules that I have had thus far have all been excellent and inspirational. Being involved in the IFEA meeting in Montreal also got me pumped up even more about the program and the ways I expect that it will evolve and help business families in the future.
Coming to the Commencement this weekend at Bucknell was a further catalyst for me personally, as I heard a few professors talk about how inspired they are when they teach. Knowing that my newly-graduated niece is going into teaching (and we all just know that she will be fantastic at it) also has me thinking more and more about this subject.
We have all heard the expression, “Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach”. Sometimes it is true. But most of the time it is full of crap. The best teachers have of course already DONE. And now they are teaching others.
I have been married for 20 years. My wife knows me pretty well. She often used to tell me that I should write a book. Well I now write a weekly blog. She also often tells me that I should be a teacher. I have always agreed with her that it would be interesting and I believe I would be pretty good at it.
But until now, I never really had anything for which I had enough passion to teach. If you have followed my recent posts, you will know that I am slowly (or maybe quickly) discovering that family business is my passion.
I have lived it, I understand it, from all the angles. I know that it is complex and that there are many issues that need to be discussed, and that often those issues are not discussed.
Teaching, and family business. Time to figure out how to put it all together. Stay tuned. If you have any ideas, I am all ears.