How Successful CEOs Make the Jump From Industry to Industry

John McGrath CEO ACA

The fundamental competencies that determine a successful chief executive officer generally hold true from industry to industry. This is not to say that a CEO at a SaaS startup can transform immediately into the role of a CEO at a banking institution, but at the core, running a successful enterprise requires a basic foundation which business leaders must possess. These core competencies generally allow for successful CEOs to pivot from one industry to another.


The most successful CEOs have maintained a careful balance between vision and operational details. Jack Welch, the former chairman and CEO of General Electric between 1981 and 2001 said, “Genuine leadership comes from the quality of your vision and your ability to spark others to extraordinary performances.” A highly successful leader must be a constant source of inspiration. The ability to inspire and execute is the signal virtue of a successful CEO.

Financial acumen

According to a Forbes article “The Path to Becoming a Fortune 500 CEO” by Jeffrey Sanders, Vice Chairman and Managing Partner of the North American CEO Practice for Heidrick & Struggles, “about 30 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs spent the first few years of their careers developing a strong foundation in finance.” A leader needs to be a visionary who drives creative ideas to the forefront of business, but if that drive is not supported by strong financial competencies, the vision may never come to reality. A strong CEO needs to fully comprehend financial modeling and budgeting along with being completely comfortable with those analytics to raise capital and execute strategies to produce an attractive return on investment.


With the advent of crowdfunding and cross-industry venture capitalism, we work in an environment where starting a business is generally no longer a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Financial engineering and entrepreneurial business constructs are the primary creative forces in a constantly evolving economy. Those who start their own businesses understand the struggle that comes with transformational leadership. Successful CEOs bridge thought to action!

Staying ahead

The best leaders have a fundamental understanding of current events. An article by Business Insider cites the morning routines of twelve influential leaders, including Gary Vaynerchuk, cofounder and CEO of VaynerMedia, who “plans his mornings down to the minute…first thing, he catches up on, the news.” Many CEOs stay abreast of news, current events, and technology, as well as the landscape of their individual industries whether they be finance, politics, education…


Perhaps the most important attribute that highly successful CEO’s share is their ability to lead a company with honesty, transparency and consistency — which leads to the creation of a culture of trust. With so many executives in business for the wrong reasons, trustworthiness is critically important. In order to be perceived as trustworthy, CEOs must demonstrate consistency in their leadership.


A CEO can pivot from one industry to another by understanding the long-term benefits of a value-driven approach to business. CEO decisions are based on considering the impact of that decision on the organization over an extended period of time. Will decisions made to meet challenges in the short-term ultimately uphold the overall values of the company? Will they align with its mission statement, its dedication to the client, and the judgment of the board of directors? CEOs keep the culture of trust intact by intelligently staying a course of providing value to the organization. Successful CEOs create an environment that embraces a philosophy of value over the long term.


A breadth of operational experience and business judgment is critical in building transferable skills that carry leaders from venture to venture and win to win. Successful CEOs generally have leadership qualities that span multiple industries: vision, financial acumen, trustworthiness and values are key among them. When making a career pivot, it’s up to the executive to transfer these core strengths to the new endeavor.

Originally published on; Image credit: Shutterstock.

How to Identify Intrapreneurs Within Your Company

How to Identify Intrapreneurs Within Your Company

An intrapreneur is the manager or employee who recognizes problems as opportunities to advance and improve the company from the inside out. They function as leaders who challenge processes and invigorate ideas. Intrapreneurs often drive progress within a company’s infrastructure without direct guidance from management. With an entrepreneur’s spirit, an inventor’s capacity to solve complex problems, and a passion for adjusting operational systems, intrapreneurs are most likely working for you, but would you know how to identify them?

Intrapreneurs are indispensable investments for your organization. Identify them early and ensure they have the room and resources to thrive and help your company grow.

You can identify successful intrapreneurs in your company using these common traits:

Total commitment

Being a highly successful intrapreneur is a full-time responsibility. The intrapreneur’s mind is constantly working and challenging the status quo. They are architects of new ideas, new plans and better methods. The intrapreneur sees the world through the lens of the administrative and financial operations of the business and relates everyday decisions into growing and improving the company. They often listen and learn from entrepreneurs, typically the CEO and/or president, incorporating their knowledge to create plans for internal improvement.


Intrapreneurs function well in a start-up industry because of their ability to thrive in a changing environment. They are excellent at observing, reflecting, accepting, and then adapting. They often create solutions from a new starting point. They welcome growing pains. It’s often said that the squeaky wheel gets the grease; intrapreneurs are those who grease the wheels without always looking for praise.

Internally motivated

Though intrapreneurs appreciate the value and importance of return on investment, they generally are not solely driven by profit. They typically are motivated by how they can contribute to further the overall success of their company. Intrapreneurs typically initiate meaningful innovations within their departments before expecting or requesting a raise.


One of the most, if not the most, important element in business is the possession of confidence. Self doubt weighs heavily on an individual’s confidence and ability to creatively perform, think and act — which progressively deteriorates corporate profitability. Having a high level of confidence is critically important. Confidence is a state of mind and a state of being. Positive thinking and engagement with like-minded people is central to the dynamic creation and execution of successful business plans which promotes attractive returns on investment.

The anchor

Intrapreneurs are generally even-tempered. When a company is in change, intrapreneurs keep a level head. Employees tend to follow an executive with a consistent and balanced temperament compared to an inconsistent or negative attitude. Effective management encourages creative minds to seek solutions during tough organizational challenges.

The straight shooter

Honesty and transparency are central to creating and maintaining a successful intrapreneurial corporate culture. Intrapreneurial chief executive officers should:

  • Create a culture of innovation and dynamic leadership.
  • Create a culture of integrity and compliance.
  • Advocate for a culture of shared vision and teamwork.
  • Advocate a core value system to have courage, determination and a contagious spirit to do what is right, regardless of the difficulties or consequences.

The mirror effect

The best way to ensure your company will attract the intrapreneurial spirit is to foster creativity in your company culture. Many entrepreneurs are (or were) intrapreneurs. Entrepreneurs often have the ability to identify mirror images of themselves and make room for advancing those employees to help the company succeed. The creation of intrapreneurial spirit could be exactly what it takes for your business to achieve the best possible results while fostering loyal, career-minded individuals that share your determination for success.

Closing note

Being able to recognize the intrapreneurs in your company will make you better equipped to cultivate a space for them, and your company, to thrive. Championing intrapreneurship inevitably encourages your company to challenge the status quo, which will lead to positive paradigm shifts within your organization — and a vibrant workforce.

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Why Is Intrapreneurship So Popular?


The intrapreneur is a word that has been utilized often but this school of thought has been around since before someone coined the term “go-getter”. In 2015, intrapreneurs are a somewhat different from their go-getter predecessors. For one, they are not just young, ambitious employees; intrapreneurs are often mature executives challenging the status quo within a large company.

Self-propelled intrapreneurship has been encouraged by large financial conglomerates and tech companies including Google, Facebook and Barclays through mentorships, conferences and formal programs. Intrapreneurs push the limits and insert creative ideas into competitive organizations.

Many corporations from finance to law to advertising have become static and need new talent — which does not necessarily equate to young talent. Generation Xers and older corporate employees are challenging their millennial counterparts’ productive energy and contemporary resourcefulness.

At heart, the intrapreneur must an inventor. They see problems as ways to improve  infrastructure. They seek more efficient ways to enhance complicated systems. They put themselves in positions within their organizations to fix complex or disregarded structures.

Originally published on

Photo sources

Intrapreneur Building

Research contribution

A. Anderson

Academic Integrity Of Distance Learning

The Integrity of Online Learning
The Integrity of Online Learning

The Initial Knowledge State of College Physics Students, a 1985 paper by physics professors Ibrahim Abou and David Hestenes, stated that the “talk-and-chalk” method of teaching often  educates students in incremental ways. In fact, further research by physicist Richard Hake revealed that an interactive experience between students often fared better in terms of attention span than a teacher at the podium. Online classes, that promote group assignments via chat, videoconferencing and emails make the classroom mobile, more accessible, and therefore, without borders.

As discussed in an earlier blog, MOOCs have grown up and become a largely favored educational alternative to conventional instruction. Already, the numbers are impressive: 500 colleges and 200 organizations offer online courses — with an estimated 30 million students.

The academic integrity of online education works because it addresses aspects of traditional instruction that do not fully capitalize on the way students effectively learn. Online instruction via videos allow students to learn applying the brain’s innate métier: focusing, replaying, considering, learning. This is particularly true in more technical courses, where difficult chapters can be replayed to a specifically difficult portion of a lecture. With an online college experience, students receive an education that fosters complex thinking and subject retention. According to Barbara Oakley, “[…] online courses can hold students’ attentions, at times better than teachers in person can.”

Scott Freeman et al’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences report revealed that the fluid and uninterrupted process of tutoring created improvements in learning. Since the birth of the internet some 26 years ago, distance learning techniques have proven to challenge traditional instruction. The flexibility of lectures via online lesson plans offer not just students the ability to make learning mobile, it can rejuvenate educators to create lesson plans with a greater marked purpose.

Photo credits: Online Learning

Research contribution A. Anderson; Originally published on


Strong Demand for Nursing Degree Programs

RN Nursing Program Student

RN Nursing Program Student

Students obtaining R.N. and B.S.N. Degrees in Nursing from New York have more than doubled since 2002. The number of bachelor’s degrees awarded to nursing students has spiked from 4,913 in 2011 to 5,866 in 2014, according to the University at Albany’s Center for Health Workforce Studies report. These figures present very good news, because New York and the rest of the United States desperately need more nurses.

Growth of Healthcare Employment

Growth of Healthcare Employment

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’, there will be a need for 525,000 replacements nurses in the workforce by 2012-2022, bringing the total number of job openings for nurses to 1.05 million by 2022.  Fueled by a baby boom generation of nurses now over the age of 46, the needs of the healthcare community has shifted and poses a substantial challenge to the health care educational community. More than 50 percent of the nursing workforce is close to retirement; younger nurses will need education to close the gap. Luckily, the potential salary and job growth outlook for those who pursue a nursing career has candidates entering nursing degree programs in droves.

This influx of interest in the nursing degree program has necessitated an uptick in online programs for nursing degrees. In fact, the number of fully online R.N. to B.S.N. programs in America has grown by more than thirty percent in the last two years according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN).

More Baby Boomers Retiring

Today, many online nursing programs provide interactive seminars to students in all nursing courses which address various readings, online discussion, and written assignments. Instructors convey concepts and assignments that aid students gain deeper, cognitive understand of each course. Through this process, learners must demonstrate mastery of the material, which faculty evaluates based on student posts on interactive discussion boards and written papers. In short, online courses prove just as rigorous as in-classroom courses. Online colleges and traditional colleges are accredited in the same way — they both must meet the criteria set by independent accrediting bodies to receive recognition by that body.

In order for the U.S. nursing degree programs to prepare future nurses to tackle the deficit in the field, the growth in on-campus nursing degree programs must increase in conjunction with online nursing degree programs to meet demand.


Graph sources

Baby Boomers Retiring

Growth of Healthcare Employment

Photo Credit

Medical & Healthcare

Research Contribution

A. Anderson

Originally posted on


Value of Higher Education — Return on Investment

Former White House and congressional advisor Ron Haskins of the Brookings Institution discovered that without a college degree, only 14 percent of Americans from the bottom fifth of parental income reach the top two-fifths. However, if they graduate college, 41 percent of the same demographic can expect to make it to the top two-fifths.

Aside from the overall higher sense of confidence and better outlook on their future college gives to college graduates, these economic figures should also be a huge factor for students pragmatically considering their future earnings and opportunities.

Unemployment Rate Lower for College Grads

According to Gary Burtless and Adam Looney of the Brookings Institution, workers with a college degree earn twice as much as workers whose highest level of education is a high school diploma, and show a lower unemployment rate than those who are non-grads. In 2010, the unemployment rate was 10 percent for those with only a high school degree, but 5.4 percent for college graduates.

Over a working life time, again according to Burtless and Looney, the differential between a college graduate’s earnings and those of a high school graduate is estimated to average $570,603 — more than half a million dollars. When viewed in investment terms, they found return on investment (ROI) for a bachelor’s degree over the last 50 years was 15.2 percent. The stock market has returned 6.8 percent, long-term Treasury bills have returned 2.2 percent, and housing has returned 0.4 percent.

Grads Make More

For students entering college, finishing and gaining a degree should be considered a savings account. Though there are short-term expenses for attending a college, the long-term investments will literally pay dividends.


Unemployment Rate By Level of Education

Higher Education Raises Earning Ratio

Research contribution: A. Anderson; Originally published on

Physician Assistant Degree Programs

Physician Assistant degrees are growing in demand as more than 60% of the health industry’s workforce are in fields that require Allied health degrees of which a Physician Assistant (PA) graduate degree being one of the most necessary in the future. With a high annual median salary of over $90K and a job outlook of over thirty-eight percent more than other occupations, the PA graduate degree has massive appeal.

Physician Assistant Grad Program

Physician Assistant Grad Program

Quick Facts: Physician Assistants
2012 Median Pay $90,930 per year$43.72 per hour
Entry-Level Education Master’s degree
Work Experience in a Related Occupation None
On-the-job Training None
Number of Jobs, 2012 86,700
Job Outlook, 2012-22 38% (Much faster than average)
Employment Change, 2012-22 33,300

Graph via

Why Are Physician Assistant Graduate Degrees In Such Demand?

The Professional Environment in which physician assistants work typically are physicians’ offices, hospitals and other healthcare facilities.  The direction of the Job Outlook for the profession is projected to grow thirty-eight percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations according to The Bureau of Labor Statistics. The growing elderly and general population, expanding chronic diseases and a physician shortage, will result in a higher demand for health providers, such as physician assistants. Physician Assistant ranks as one of the Top 10 Jobs In the United States by the The Bureau of Labor Statistics report 2014-15 because of salary, length of the degree program and flexibility to transition into many other fields of medicine.

Students for Physician Assistans Degree Program

Students for Physician Assistans Degree Program

What Is The Degree Program For Physician Assistants?

Physician assistants must have some experience in the allied health field prior to entering their two-year bachelor’s practitioner program. After earning a bachelor’s degree, most students complete a master’s physician assistant program — an intensive two-year degree which require candidates to familiarize themselves in specialities and expertise in wide-ranging subjects including biochemistry, pathology, pharmacology and physiology to name a few. Some students decide to take a BA-PA in conjunction with an MS-PA in an accelerated graduate degree.

Studying a broad spectrum of medical and surgical care, the knowledge retained will advance their proficiency in a broad range skills rather than one specific area of study. Graduate students master such subjects as surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, geriatrics, pediatrics, among many other fields.

Licensing and Certification

To become a certified physician assistant and be eligible for the acronym PA-C, students complete a graduate degree from an accredited, Allied health college.

What Crucial Service Can Physician Assistants Provide?

Physician assistants practice medicine under the supervision of physicians and surgeons. They are formally educated to examine patients, diagnose injuries and illnesses, and provide treatment. Physician assistants are medical providers who are licensed to diagnose and treat illness and disease and prescribe medication for patients. The PA profession is designed to be adaptable, preparing PAs to work with doctors in primary care or medical and surgical specialties and subspecialties. Because of the breadth of their knowledge, they are highly capable of providing care in emergency situations. In the primary care setting, Physician Assistants can provide almost all of the clinical services that physicians provide, including diagnosing and treating illnesses. PAs may be required to make clinical decisions and provide diagnostic, preventive and other health services.

What Communities Do Physician Assistants Offer High-level Care?

Today, thousands of people have access to quality health care because there are PAs in their communities. Physician Assistants are critical to increasing access to care for underserved patients, as they are often the only health providers in these areas. PAs made nearly 300 million patient visits and prescribed or recommended approximately 332 million medications in 2008.

In order to continue giving high-quality healthcare to patients, physician assistants graduate degree programs are essential to the healthcare industry. These graduate degrees are growing in demand — which means more PAs will be entering the workforce to assist in the physician shortage in the forecast.

**U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014-15 Occupational Outlook Handbook; Physician Assistants.

Research Contribution: A. Anderson

Photo credit:

MedSourceConsultants  — Physician Assistants

PA Grads

PA Grad Program

Students for PA Program


Allied Health Degree Programs in High Demand at Colleges and Universities

Allied health professionals are those who work and function within a variety of diagnostic, technical, therapeutic and direct patient care support services.  These practitioners make up approximately 60 percent of the health workforce in the United States.

The benefits of a Doctor of Osteopath Degree is that it carries with it the expertise in modern medicines, surgery, the use of technology to diagnose disease and evaluate injury, and a hands-on diagnostic and treatment system called osteopathic manipulative treatment . This system of osteopathic manipulative treatment can often alleviate symptoms without the use of surgery or medications. Osteopathic physicians work in partnership with patients to help them achieve a high level of wellness by focusing on health education, injury prevention, and disease prevention through a holistic approach, using the body’s natural capability to fight off illness.

Allied Health University Students

Allied Health University Students

With the nation facing a critical physician workforce shortage, degree programs for health professionals are more relevant than ever. By 2020, the gap between our physician supply and demand will range from 50,000 to more than 100,000. Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine are in high demand to meet the upcoming shortage. According to a 2015 report released by AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges), the nation will face a 46,000 to 90,0000 physicians shortage by 2025.

“The doctor shortage is real – it’s significant – and it’s particularly serious for the kind of medical care that our aging population is going to need,” said AAMC President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, MD.

Currently, there are 74,000 licensed and active practicing osteopathic physicians who utilizes the entire scope of modern holistic medicine and a hands-on approach to diagnosing and treating illness and injury. More than 4,800 new osteopathic physicians enter the workforce each year — with more than 20 percent of medical students in the United States who are training to acquire osteopathic degrees. And the number of nurses, physical therapists, and physicians assistants wanting a DO degree are on the rise.

Allied health professional

Allied health professional

Thousands of Allied health professionals seek admission to Osteopathic Medical Schools every year.  Numerous international medical candidates also seek admittance to U.S. Osteopathic Medicals Schools because of the highly regarded Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation.

The interest in homeopathic, holistic and osteopathic systems of medicine is proliferating exponentially. The growing need to provide allied health care college degree programs is very attractive to entrepreneurial colleges and universities.

Research Contribution: A. Anderson

Originally posted on

Entrepreneurs & Intrapreneurs

In the 1980’s, management consultant Gifford Pinchot coined the term “Intrapreneurs” in reference to employees who are given the opportunity to develop new products and ideas from within a company. If identified and fostered properly, intrapreneurs can play an invaluable role in keeping the company highly competitive.

Teamwork creates success in a business

Teamwork creates success for a thriving business

Especially useful for businesses that rely on innovation, intrapreneurs are the individuals behind the internal ideas being explored. They are generally more comfortable for exploration within the structure of an established institution.

Forbes contributor and Fishbowl founder David K. Williams identified several common traits of successful intrapreneurs, including an exhaustive interest in finding non-economic ways to prove their own value, an intrinsic and determined ability to grow ideas without fearing failure or change, and, most importantly, confidence, humility, and deep-seeded integrity. “Tomorrow’s world of work ecosystems will be driven by the increasing ranks of intrepreneurs [sic],” Williams concluded.

Intrapreneurs especially thrive in a fast-paced  environment. They typically are naturally observant, reflective and adaptive — they love finding creative solutions from multiple points within business constructs. The intrapreneur’s mind is always working. They are architects of new ideas, new plans and generally better at  executing strategic plans. They often work very well with an entrepreneur.

Many entrepreneurs are also intrapreneurs. They are not mutually exclusive talents within one individual. The best way for a company to succeed is to encourage both entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial spirit in its culture. Challenging the status quo often leads to positive paradigm shifts within the organization.


Originally published on

Three Basic Rules for College Presidents at the Start of a New Academic Year

A new academic year can bring unexpected challenges and opportunities for a college president. Building positive long-term relationships through an open exchange of ideas, centered on mutual respect, is the foundation for long-term success.

relationshipsBuild Meaningful Relationships

Building meaningful relationships starts by continuing to know your faculty, administrators, and staff. Some presidents are so busy with  day-to-day obligations that they forget to engage in meaningful conversations with a cross section of employees and students within the college community.  Nothing builds a positive long-term relationship better than honest exchange of ideas and mutual respect.

Ears to the Ground

A college president must operationally understand the departments within the institution. Being a hands-on leader familiar with the daily challenges of faculty, administration and staff is critically important to ensure proper execution of the Strategic Plan. Employees respect a leader who is familiar with daily struggles and has an ear to the ground in the larger decision making process.

Intellectually Honest and Decisive Row of light bulb 3D on blue background. Innovation concept.

A leader needs to personify a culture of honesty and transparency — a culture of authority, responsibility and accountability. Respected presidents also seek to inspire a shared vision based upon the bests interests of the entire college community, including students, faculty, staff, and outside stakeholders (including investors at for-profit institutions). But at the end of the day, not all decisions can be accommodated solely by consensus. A college president is hired to independently analyze alternative solutions to tough problems. Being intellectually honest and decisive is the key to successful transformational leadership.

Research Contribution: A. Anderson

Originally posted on