Monthly Archives: June 2020

Student Leadership and Meaningful Work

Student leadership and meaningful work go together.

About this episode:

“We’re all leaders in some way, shape, or form.”

-Courtney Owens, Assistant Director of Student Leadership; Ithaca College Office of Student Engagement

Student leadership leads to meaningful work. Coincidentally, leadership programming prepares college students for success doing work that protects the planet and empowers people and community.

People who develop student leadership skill in college enter the workforce as agile participants who are able to pivot to changing circumstances.

So, as colleges and universities welcome back Fall 2020 semester students, Ithaca College will resume its student leadership programming. Undergraduates in the program will learn how to start careers doing meaningful work.

The pursuit of meaningful work is a big driver for Ithaca College.

Courtney Owens, the Assistant Director of Student Leadership at Ithaca College’s Office of Student Engagement, helps students enter the workforce to make a positive difference in the world.

We recorded this podcast episode during December 2019, soon after I addressed the Ithaca College’s Student Leadership Forum.

In this episode, Courtney:

  • Summarizes Ithaca College’s student leadership program. Starts at 3:43
  • Explains the “WE” aspect of student leadership programming. Starts at 5:45
  • Offers her description of meaningful work. Starts at 9:03
  • Discusses the generational differences affecting meaningful work priorities. Starts at 18:33
  • Offers listeners advice for seeking and doing meaningful work. Starts at 30:34

About our guest:

Courtney Owens earned a Master of Arts in Leadership Studies from Western Kentucky University. She lives and works in Ithaca, New York.

EPISODE DATE: June 26, 2020

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Is Police Work Meaningful Work?

About this episode:

“What I do, on a day in and day out basis, is that I am there for them [and just build] relationships and become a trusted companion.”

-Mike Shochet, Lead Chaplain of the Fairfax County, Virginia Police

We are well into June 2020, a month informed by the grotesquely shocking death of George Floyd—under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer. That shockwave has led many to call for defunding police departments across the United States.

Some now ask: is police work meaningful work?

Two years ago, we sat down for a conversation with Mike Shochet. Tightrope Podcast listeners discovered how Mike’s meaningful work career spanned three acts, as TV news reporter, Baltimore City cop, and now as police chaplain.

Ordained as a cantor in Reform Judaism, Mike merged his experience as a beat cop with deep spirituality to become the lead chaplain of the Fairfax County, Virginia Police.

By tending to the pastoral needs of law enforcement personnel, Mike Shochet does the meaningful work of his dreams.

The vexing issues discussed in this episode, recorded in early June of 2018, remain untended. Going forward, we hope (and pray) that police work lives up to the motto: to serve and protect.

In this episode, Mike discusses:

  • The role of police chaplain. Starts at 2:26
  • Why police officers often don’t like uneventful days. Starts at 8:12
  • His view on office candidate screening. Starts at 12:55
  • How first-hand experience with pain and neglect informs his chaplaincy. Starts at 15:18
  • The role of empathy in police work. Starts at 20:11

About our guest:

Mike Shochet received a Bachelor of Science from Ithaca College’s Park School of Communications and a Masters of Fine Arts degree in Sacred Music from Hebrew Union College. He and his family live in Fairfax County, Virginia.

EPISODE DATE: June 19, 2020

Social media:

Fairfax County Police Chaplaincy

Biography, Temple Rodef Shalom

Alumni Communities and Meaningful Work

About this episode:

“One of the things that [companies] haven’t done that we start to see is tell you ‘Hey, take a moment and take stock of your life. Where are you? Where do you want to be? And, how do we help you get there?’”

-James Sinclair, Chief Executive of EnterpriseAlumni

In 2020, a major inflection point in the future of work has emerged.

Forward thinking companies that furloughed large numbers of workers are using alumni communities to engage their cast-offs through skill development, help finding work at other companies, and offers to return to the fold in new full-time employee or independent contract roles.

Leading this alumni community and meaningful work revolution is James Sinclair.

His company, EnterpriseAlumni, enables managers to communicate with their former employees in meaningful ways, keep the lifetime value of talent investment strong, and, to help their former workers build lives doing meaningful work.

In this episode, James describes:

  • The value proposition of alumni communities. Starts at 2:31
  • Benefits associated with engaging former company workers. Starts at 3:31
  • How the riots happening across the US are driving corporate social impact. Starts at 11:11
  • Two interview questions managers are now asking hired talent. Starts at 17:38
  • The benefits of an agile workforce. Starts at 26:50
  • How to achieve meaningful work. Starts at 36:34

About our guest:

James Sinclair is the Chief Executive & Co-Founder of EnterpriseAlumni. James’ background is in large enterprise innovation. He worked for companies including IBM, SAP & EDS. Outside of his day job, he contributes to media on future of work, large enterprise innovation, and entrepreneurship topics. James lives and works in Southern California. 

EPISODE DATE: June 12, 2020

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Media credits: Former worker facing Zoom screen, fizkes for iStock Photo; James Sinclair portrait, EnterpriseAlumni.

Note: in the intro, we regretfully referred to the current events as “riots.” That was unintentional and we regret the error.

Please check out our most recent podcast episodes and blog posts on The Dan Smolen Experience website.

Homes and Hops

Homes and Hops: a realtor becomes the ambassador for her city’s craft brewers.

About this episode:

Studies have shown that [craft] breweries have a positive impact on residential real estate sales. And over the past 5 years, we’ve had several breweries pop up in our area.”

-Lisa Resnick, Realtor, Craft Brewers Ambassador, and Host of Homes and Hops Podcast

It’s the first week of June 2020 and, across the country, local businesses are reemerging to service a public that’s been homebound since early March.

Meet Lisa Resnick: she is an ambassador to Youngstown, someone who tells the stories of craft brewers and the sense of place they create for people in the community.

Lisa is a Realtor for residential properties and the host and executive producer of Homes and Hops, a phenomenal podcast about the fast-emerging craft brewing scene in the city.

Back when she was a kid, Lisa dreamt about becoming a courtroom judge. Then, out of college, she produced direct mail campaigns for political candidates. When a recession hit, Lisa pivoted to real estate and a career that truly suits her passions. Moving back with her family to her native Youngstown, Lisa discovered that she could be an effective ambassador for Youngstown and its craft brewers. And that is how Homes and Hops got its start.

In this episode, Lisa describes:

  • Childhood dreams of becoming a courtroom judge and early jobs supporting political campaigns. Starts at 2:58
  • Her successful pivot into real estate. Starts at 5:38
  • How Homes and Hops got started and Youngtown’s amazing renaissance. Starts at 22:49
  • Being an ambassador for her community. Starts at 28:47
  • Her philosophy for pursuing meaningful work and for living in a place like Youngstown. Starts at 36:05

About our guest:

Lisa Resnick earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Government from Youngstown State University. She is a Realtor with Burgan Real Estate and the Host and Executive Producer of Homes and Hops. Lisa and her family reside in the Youngstown, Ohio area.

EPISODE DATE: June 5, 2020

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Homes and Hops Podcast Page