Blog Archives

Barry Posner’s TEDx Talk: Why Credibility Is The Foundation Of Leadership

I use Barry Posner’s books in my Executive MBA course on Organizational Behavior. One of the concepts I love most from his writings is the importance of leadership credibility. Leadership credibility develops to the extent we do what we say we will do. Notice the “we” in this rather than the “me”. If we only speak and act in accordance with our own desires, we might have personal credibility, but not leadership credibility. Leaders speak and act in ways that “we” value. A leader walks the talk that represents us, not just him or herself.

After you watch Barry’s talk, please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Related Posts:

Leadership Integrity

Barry Posner: Two Truths About Leadership

Eight Activities For Self-Development Of Leadership Skills


EMBA Student Team Places Second In Nevada Governor’s Cup

dragonflyThe Donald W. Reynolds Nevada Governor’s Cup business plan competition encourages Nevada university students to act on their talents and ideas.  Two EMBA students in the 2012 Cohort did just that.  Denis Phares and Sean Nichols worked with team member Justin Ferranto (working toward a Ph.D. in Engineering, UNR ) and advisor, Matt Westfield to create Dragonfly Energy, a Reno-based lithium ion battery technology company.  Their business plan earned them 2nd place in this prestigious event.  For more information on the competition, visit the Nevada Governor’s Cup website at  Pictured left to right: Sean Nichols (COO), Denis Phares (President and CEO), and teammate Justin Ferranto (VP of Engineering).

Dragonfly Energy began as an idea to reduce the manufacturing costs of Lithium ion batteries. The motivation was to break the cost barriers to greater incorporation of renewable energy sources, like solar and wind. Denis Phares, who also holds a Ph.D. from Caltech and originally developed the idea, recruited Justin Ferranto to help establish a laboratory in Reno and to prove the process. After a patent was filed, Denis and Justin recruited Sean Nichols (Denis’s EMBA classmate) to help launch the company with a focus on gaining the capital needed to establish a prototype manufacturing unit.

As the three began the market research phase and to explore a potential customer base, there appeared to be large underserved markets that could benefit significantly from Li-ion batteries now. As a result, Dragonfly Energy has already initiated sales of standard and custom Li-ion battery packs, and are building the brand, while simultaneously pursuing the groundbreaking technology. This model is unique for tech startups, but it garnered the attention of the competition judges.




How To Inspire Grassroots Change In Your City

Two of our recent MBA graduates, Kristin Stith and Paul Klein, gave an excellent talk at TEDxUniversityofNevada 2014 about being part of the Biggest Little City rebranding effort. This was a group of talented citizens that organized to volunteer time and effort to change the image of Reno, Nevada. The results of the rebranding and grassroots marketing campaign have been impressive.

This is also a great example of a well rehearsed TEDx talk. Kristin and Paul participated in all three of the rehearsals we organized for local speakers starting 3 months before the event. We watched as their talk went from an outline to a script and from nervous reading of lines to a confident performance. The audience loved their talk and if you take the time to watch it, I think you will too. After watch the video, please share your thoughts in the comment section below.


Barry Posner: Two Truths About Leadership

I use Barry Posner’s book The Truth About Leadership in my EMBA class on Organizational Behavior. In this talk he did for TEDxUniversityofNevada 2014, Barry talks about two truths from his book – you make a difference and you can’t do it alone. It’s an excellent talk. Please share your thoughts in the comment section below after you watch Barry’s talk.


Mark Estee On The Value Of Relationships For Business

I want to share with you another video from one of our TEDxUniversityofNevada speakersMark Estee. In this video, Mark discusses how relationships are the key to his success. Strong relationships with suppliers, customers, employees, the community, professional advisors, and family help Mark’s business thrive.

I am a raving fan of Mark and his business, Campo Reno. Oddly enough, the first experience I had in Mark’s restaurant was not a good one. But I gave him another chance after he reached out to me personally to try to recover, and I’ve had nothing but positive experiences with Mark and his business ever since.

I hope you take the time to watch the video and hear from Mark first hand his advice for success. After doing so, please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Laura Zander At TEDxUniversityofNevada

The Online Executive MBA program at The University of Nevada was the sole sponsor for TEDxUniversityofNevada. The event was held January 25, 2013 on the campus of the University of Nevada. There were 18 total speakers from the community, 100 registered participants, and about 30 volunteers. By all accounts the event was a big success.

One of the speakers in the business and entrepreneurship session was Laura Zander of Jimmy Beans Wool in Reno. In her talk, Laura briefly discusses how she started her company and has quickly grown it to a seven figure revenue stream. Laura gives examples from her own life about how the ability to dream big and stay flexible are important entrepreneurial skills.

Take the time to watch this video – it is very insightful. After you do, please share your thoughts in the comment section below!

Responsible Online Gaming

In this video from TEDxUniversityofNevada, James Kosta of 3G studios shares how the next generation of young adults will be very attracted to online gaming. Kosta identifies the “3R’s” of regulated gaming as risk, randomness, and reward, then explains how online platforms will excel at providing this experience to users. Because of this, Kosta makes a call for a fourth “r” – responsibility.

Kosta provides extensive research and insight in this 15 minute talk. Take the time to watch it and then share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Executive MBA Mixer

We held a mixer for the first and second cohorts of students in our Online Executive MBA program on September 7, 2012. The mixer was optional, and was the first opportunity many of the students have had to meet each other and the faculty in person since we don’t require any campus visits as part of our program. Posted below are some of the photos from the event:







Students from our first cohort








Students from our second cohort











Executive MBA Director, Dr. Kambiz Raffiee








Faculty and staff of our program

Executive MBA (EMBA) Online: Program Progress

The Online Executive MBA program at the University of Nevada was approved by the Nevada Board of Regents in late spring 2011. With minimal time to market and recruit, we were able to start our first cohort in the fall of 2011 with 14 exceptional students.  For the second cohort, we got another round of exceptional applications and are expecting to select 30 students to start in fall 2012.

The online EMBA at UNR continues to improve, expand, and evolve. Our program is housed in an AACSB accredited College of Business and is taught by many of the same faculty that earned our part-time MBA a top national ranking. Check us out – we think you will find that we offer an excellent program that is also an exceptional value.

If you are interested in joining our 2013 cohort, be sure to apply early!

Related Posts:

Are You Prepared For The Online Executive MBA Program?

Who’s Teaching Your Online Executive MBA?

Why UNR Online Executive MBA?

Executive MBA Class Assignment: Evaluate Super Bowl Ads

My marketing class in the Executive MBA program at UNR held discussed the effectiveness of the recent Super bowl commercials.  They were tasked with describing how advertisers segment their market and discuss the effectiveness of the strategy.  Their conclusions were very interesting.

Mass marketing as a strategy is a difficult one.  Consumers today expect more one to one marketing; a one size fits all approach is problematic in many cases.  Some products, like beer, aren’t really differentiated, except for a brand.  Mass marketing works well with products like this, where they are largely undifferentiated and fill a basic need.  Other products, such as computers and even cars are increasingly customized based on customer preferences.

The class focused on one particular ad:  the Clint Eastwood Halftime in America Chrysler commercial.   (see it on YouTube at Despite not really knowing who was sponsoring the commercial until the end, the students in the class wisely identified several key segments the commercial was targeted.   Using Clint Eastwood helped reach multiple generations in the audience but really positioned the Chrysler brand particularly well to an older generation.   Despite the international audience of the game, the commercial was targeted to an American audience evoking a sense of loyalty and patriotism to products made in the United States.  Many students noted the political overtones in the commercial but didn’t feel it took away from the experience.

The students in the UNR EMBA program are very bright and experienced.  They handle discussion topics like this easily and they teach me something new each week.

James McClenahan, MBA

James McClenahan, MBAJim McClenahan is the Director of Management and Executive Programs for Extended Studies at the University of Nevada, Reno, responsible for more than 150 professional development courses annually as well as several major conferences.

He serves as the Treasurer to the Northern Nevada Chamber of Commerce, chair of the Schools to Careers committee for Washoe County and on the advisory board for St. Albert the Great Catholic Church. He completed his MBA at the University of Nevada, Reno in 2006.