The Best Boss I Never Had

Written by Aneil Mishra, Department of Management, Thomas D. Arthur Professor of Leadership


Bob Lintz is the best boss I never had.  If I had worked for him, I would have likely stayed longer at GM.  Nevertheless, I have been privileged to have worked with him for the past 25 years as part of my ongoing research on trustworthy leadership.

When I first met Bob in the late 1980s, he was in the middle of a transformational change effort he was leading at a stamping plant in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio.  The General Motors stamping plant in Parma’s future had been in doubt in the previous decade because at that time it was one of GM’s worst plants in terms of productivity, quality, cost, and labor relations.  By building a trust-based culture at Parma, involving the local United Auto Workers (UAW) leadership, rank-and-file union employees, and Parma’s managers, Bob created a team-based system, which empowered employees to improve their own work areas, collaborate to develop innovative solutions to long-standing conflicts, and partner with customers and suppliers to reduce costs while simultaneously improving quality.

Lintz and Wife

Bob Lintz with his wife, Karen.

In the decade and a half after I met Bob, the results of this organizational change effort would be significant.  Productivity in terms of output per employee improved almost 10-fold, while quality improved even more dramatically.  This was all due to marked and sustained increases in employee engagement based on mutual trust.  Bob’s example as a trustworthy leader, and his commitment to building trust throughout the Parma organization, stood in contrast to developments elsewhere at GM.  It is no surprise that in 2014 Parma is one of the best-performing stamping plants in the world, and as a result of Bob’s leadership, several thousand well-paying jobs were saved.

 Bob also owned the original Ghostbuster’s ambulance, restoring it to its original condition, complete with the four proton packs worn by Bill Murray, Dan Ackroyd, Harold Ramis, and Ernie Hudson.  Bob used it raise money for cancer research among other philanthropies.

Bob also owned the original Ghostbuster’s ambulance, restoring it to its original condition, complete with the four proton packs worn by Bill Murray, Dan Ackroyd, Harold Ramis, and Ernie Hudson. Bob used it raise money for cancer research among other philanthropies.

Having retired from GM, Bob is busier than ever, helping The Cleveland Clinic’s transformation from a system organized around physicians to a team-based organization centered on patients.  Bob will be discussing how he is applying his insights and experience about employee engagement, world-class quality, and safety as a top organizational priority as part of his leadership work with The Clinic.



I am delighted that ECU will be hosting him as the 2014 Cunanan Leadership Series Speaker at 3 PM on November 12th at ECU’s Hendrix Theater.


Faculty Friday: Meet Phillip Davis

Phillip Davis

PhillipDavis (2)

Davis is originally from Greenville, SC and before he came to ECU he was employed by the University of North Texas for four years. He is now in the Department of Management here at ECU after acquiring his BS and MBA from Clemson University and his PhD from the University of North Texas this year.

Although he is busy at work, which includes research about organizational capabilities, small business strategy and entrepreneurship, he still manages to make time for his family. He is happily married to his wife, Tracie, and they have three children Ariel, PJ, and Briella.

When he is not teaching, Davis enjoys spending his time watching college football and being with his family. He believes that, “You have not truly learned something until you share it with someone else.”.

Welcome to ECU, and we look forward to getting to know you!

Participate in a Life Changing Experience

Amsterdam 2

A study abroad experience can be life changing. The College of Business offers study abroad opportunities every summer with the possibility of earning course credit and traveling to a different country. The Institute for the International Education of Students (IES) surveyed 3,400 students that had participated in study abroad programs and here is what they found:

There are many benefits to participating in the COB study abroad program. For example, students often cite, personal growth as one of the most important benefits. In particular, personal growth benefits range from increased self-confidence and independence, long lasting friendships, and a higher tolerance for ambiguity. After taking several groups of students I can attest to the fact that long lasting friendships are always created on these trips. Many students join these trips without knowing another person but they always leave with a group of friends that last many years. In fact, it is common for groups to get together often after the trip to catch up and relive some of the great memories.  Increased self-confidence and independence is another benefit I mentioned. After spending two weeks in a foreign country navigating public transportation, language differences, currency exchanges, etc. students often feel they can accomplish anything!

Altavilla Day 2 Group

Some of the most important benefits involve educational and career goals. Participating in the COB study abroad program can lead to fellowships and internships in the future. We visit universities and foreign businesses. These contacts have led to future opportunities for students. They also influence education and career decisions. Perhaps you will decide to continue your education based on something you learned while abroad, or perhaps you will seek career opportunities with a global company. Meeting business men and women and professors provides you with the ability to increase your network as well as the opportunities you have in the future.

There are also intercultural development benefits from studying abroad. Students often leave with a better understanding, not only of the country we visited but their own country as well. Study abroad often provides the student with a more sophisticated view of the world by understanding the differences and similarities between cultures. Many times, while visiting a foreign country, our perceptions and habits are tested and even changed.

Altavilla Day 2 Kyle, Landon, Kyle

As I stated above, there are many benefits to participating in the COB study abroad program. I have included just a few. Please, join us one summer for a life changing experience!

For more information about Summer 2015 Study Abroad:

-Dr. Amy McMillan, Associate Professor, Management

Prepare Yourself for Securing A Job


Tips for success

The CoB Career Center sponsors a variety of career fairs throughout the academic year. This guide will help you prepare for them and help you make the most of your time while you’re there.

Reasons to Attend

Regardless of your major, year in college, or future goals, there are many benefits to attending a career fair. You can:

• Investigate positions and career fields you could pursue with your major and background

• Meet representatives from organizations for whom you are interested in working

• Get more information about specific companies and organizations

• Gain valuable interview / networking experience

• Increase your chances of interviewing with an employer

• Receive sound job search advice from seasoned company recruiters

• Develop your network of contacts



What to Expect

Typically, career fairs host groups of employers from specific geographic regions or employers that recruit for similar industries or sectors. Employers expect to interact with students seeking job opportunities as well as those simply researching careers and organizations.

Most career fairs are held in one large room. Rows of tables are staffed by representatives from the participating organizations and decorated with table-top displays.

Student registration tables are usually located at the entrance to the career fair. Here, you might be asked to sign in, create a name tag, and complete a brief questionnaire. Lists of attending organizations and maps identifying their locations may also be available.


How to Prepare

If you are attending a career fair in search of job opportunities, you should prepare for the experience as you would for an interview.

1. Review the list of organizations that will be attending the fair, then research those employers of interest to you. Visit the CoB Career Center for company literature, and do research on the organization’s website.

2. Ensure that your resume reflects your most current accomplishments, skills, and experiences. Print an adequate supply of your resume.

3. Practice answering specific interview questions and prepare questions you would like to ask the employers.

4. Consider how you will dress. If you are exploring job opportunities, you should dress in professional business attire.

5. Prepare a strategy for working the fair. Prioritize the employers with whom you’d like to speak, identify the information you want to get from them, and specify goals you hope to achieve by attending the fair.


At the Fair

Don’t ask what positions the employers have; tell them what you’re seeking. If you aren’t sure of the job titles, begin by telling them your major, what you enjoy doing and ask where there might be a fit. Employers respond positively to this direct approach.

Keep your communication brief and to the point. You may want to meet with many employers, and employers will want to meet with as many students as possible. Prioritize your time to meet with all the employers on your list. Be sure to give your resume to each employer, and also get a business card from a representative at each organization that interests you.

Sample Questions You May Ask

Do your homework before you attend the fair and find answers to as many of these questions as possible – it shows the employer you are serious about your candidacy.


• Do you have a formal internship program?

• Do you have an internship coordinator I could contact?

• When is the best time to apply for an internship?

• What experiences might I have as an intern in your organization?

• Do you offer both paid internships and those for academic credit?

• What courses or majors do you look for in potential interns?


• After you describe your academic and work experience: What are typical entry-level positions for someone with my major, skills and experience?

• What skills do you look for in candidates?

• What type of previous work experiences do you look for in candidates?

• What’s the best way to apply to your organization, and how long does the process usually take?

• Will you be on campus to interview?

Sample Questions They May Ask You

• When are you available to begin working?

• Are you interested in full-time or internship opportunities?

• What kind of position are you looking for?

• What geographic areas are you interested in?

• Why did you stop at our table today?

• May I have a copy of your resume?

After the Fair

Within two weeks of the fair, make follow-up contact with the representatives you spoke to, unless you have discussed an alternative arrangement. Employers may leave a fair with hundreds of resumes, and they report that less than 5% of students follow up after a fair. This simple step can give you a big advantage.

Recruiters share the ingredients of a great first impression:

“A firm handshake and introducing yourself.”

“Let me know what your major is and what type of position is interesting to you.”

“Good eye contact and speaking clearly.”

“The time with each student at a career fair is brief, so a student who can get his or her point across in about 1 minute is way ahead of others.”

career fair

Certified Career Facilitator Joins College’s Career Center

Did you know it takes six to ten months on average for students to land their first job?

Susanne Killian, the College of Business’ new career counselor, says it’s never too early to start preparing for your future. She joined the COB Career Center in October 2013, becoming the College’s first-ever Certified Career Facilitator.

Susanne KillianOriginally from Wake Forest, N.C., Killian brings 20 years of educational and career development experience to her role. She also holds a Ph.D. in Educational Research from N.C. State University. She says she enjoys interacting with business students and exploring their options through self-assessment, networking opportunities, and internships. She works with undergraduates, graduate students, distance education students, as well as alumni – and her services are offered for free through the College’s Career Center.

Killian says she offers different types of one-on-one appointments, with students typically needing a general internship/job search session. At this type of meeting, students discuss their concentration, think about their future ambitions, explore their strengths, and discover tools and resources to network and prospect for jobs. She also offers advice on resumes and cover letters, and she has even been known to help students practice talking on the phone – an important skill to develop with so much done digitally these days.

She says that landing a quality internship is pivotal for many students, helping them gain valuable interpersonal skills in an office environment while strengthening their work ethic – traits that employers stress in today’s marketplace.

“It’s a different world now, so students need to use our services and get on the right track early,” Killian said. “There’s a fine line sometimes between networking properly and being perceived as a job hound. Our role is to support students throughout the prospecting process and enable them to put their best foot forward.”

To make an appointment with Susanne Killian, please contact the College of Business Career Center office at 252-737-1236. For resources and other information, visit online at

College of Business Faculty and Alumni Take Italy


This past summer College of Business alumni, faculty, and friends traveled to Italy.  The trip began in Milan and continued on to Verona, Venice, Florence, Rome, Naples, Palermo, and Capri. It was a once in a lifetime experience! Some of the highlights included a boat tour around the island of Capri, a day trip to the medieval town of Erice, eating a panini from a street vendor in Sicily, and a surprise torrential rain storm in Florence! Some travelers visited the Vatican, while others toured the Catacombs and Crypts. In addition, we consumed tremendous amounts of Italian food ranging from steak florentine to simple prosciutto panini. There was wine and espresso daily, along with delicious desserts such as baba, cannoli, and tiramisu! Luckily, we were able to walk most of it off during the day! It was definitely an adventure.

Burano - Lauren C

The group traveled throughout Italy on a Gran Turismo bus with an experienced driver. He gave us great advice about where and what to eat, places to see, and was always ready to help with a translation when needed! It was a great way to see Italy! Traveling by bus was safe and much easier than traveling by train. It was also much more comfortable! In addition, by the end of the trip we all made new friends. There was a wide range of people from all different backgrounds, which made the trip much more interesting! Another benefit of the trip was that even though we were traveling together, we were not locked into tours or group events, so everyone could move at their own pace and see what interested them the most. Of course almost everyone grouped up to enjoy the sights together.

Colosseum 2 - Lauren C

The trip was such a success that we are doing it again and this time you are invited! This summer we are visiting Italy for 15 days, from June 26-July 9. We will visit Milan, Lake Como, Turin, Genoa, the Italian Riviera, Lucca, and Fiesole/Florence.


For more information about the Summer 2015 trip, contact Amy McMillan at!

Dr. Oneil Harris Honored with Stansell Fellowship


Dr. Oneil Harris

The College of Business recently honored Dr. Oneil Harris with the first Stansell Fellowship, a $1,000 annual award to support faculty research that is named in memory of Dr. Stanley Roger “Buddy” Stansell.

Stansell was a beloved finance professor at ECU. He retired in 2005 after a 17-year career as the Robert Dillard Teer Jr. Distinguished Professor of Business, but he stayed involved with many of his students up until he died on April 15, 2014. His family created an endowment in his memory earlier this year, and both family and friends have made contributions. The Stansell Fellowship is funded by those gifts, with a new award recipient chosen each year.

Patricia Stansell, wife of Dr. Buddy Stansell, says her family is very education-oriented – and she is thrilled that the first fellowship has been awarded in her husband’s name. Her daughter, Dr. Stacy Klein-Gardner, came up with the idea. Education has played an important role in her life, too, as she holds a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from Vanderbilt University and currently serves as Director of the Center for STEM Education for Girls at Harpeth Hall, an all-girls private college preparatory school in Nashville, Tenn.


Dr. Stanley “Buddy” Stansell

“Buddy loved research. That was one of his favorite parts of university life,” Patricia Stansell said. “It meant a lot to him that he held the Teer Chair of Research at ECU and could continue his work in the summer. He would be glad to be doing something for other College of Business faculty to help support them and encourage them in their work. This award symbolizes him.”

Harris joined the Department of Finance in 2008, after he spent two years teaching at Florida Atlantic University and earning his PhD in Finance. He also holds an M.S. in Economics and B.S. in Economics from Florida Atlantic University.

Originally from Kingston, Jamaica, Harris has been very productive in his research since joining the College of Business faculty six years ago. His studies have touched upon almost all areas of finance, and he has published a large number of articles in high quality journals. He is currently exploring market microstructure, although his research portfolio covers topics in financial markets, banking, international finance, and corporate finance. He says he enjoys staying involved in every aspect of his research – from the data collection process and methodologies used for hypothesis testing to the writing.

He also enjoys his reputation as a popular instructor, despite teaching challenging classes like Derivatives, and he is frequently elected to serve as Faculty Marshal by graduating students. In addition, he readily volunteers to teach new courses and has done more new course preps than anyone else in the Department of Finance.

“I am gratified whenever my past students inform me that my course materials proved beneficial in their personal and professional lives,” Harris said. “Overall, I think I am well liked and respected among my students because they know that I have a sincere interest in their success. I love to teach, but my heart truly lies in research. I am deeply honored to receive the inaugural Stansell Fellowship.”

Mishra Named Thomas D. Arthur Professor of Leadership

Aneil Mishra Headshot #2Dr. Aneil Mishra has been named the inaugural Thomas D. Arthur Professor of Leadership, the university’s first endowed leadership chair. He began July 1 and is based in the College of Business, with the mission to help build up the capability of students and faculty throughout ECU.

Mishra is an internationally recognized expert on how leaders build trust. He is the coauthor of two books with his wife Karen Mishra: “Trust is Everything – Become the Leader others will Follow” (2008) and “Becoming a Trustworthy Leader – Psychology and Practice” (2013). He has developed and conducted leadership assessment, executive education programs, and team development for a variety of Fortune 500 firms and other organizations, including leading health care organizations and non‐profits across the globe.

Mishra says he feels like a kid in a candy store working with other colleagues who share a passion for leadership and strive to make a difference to students. “I love ECU’s desire to transform students’ lives through leadership,” he said.”I’m excited to be the champion for new initiatives, making the College of Business and entire campus strong in leadership and leadership development.”

Prior to joining ECU, Mishra served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at North Carolina Central University.  Before that, he was Vice President of Curriculum and Faculty Relations for 2tor, Inc (now 2u), working with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Kenan-Flagler School of Business on its online MBA program, MBA@UNC. He has also served as a management professor on the business school faculties of Duke University, Wake Forest University, Penn State University, and Michigan State University’s School of Human Resources and Labor Relations.

He earned his Ph.D. in Business Administration from the University of Michigan and earned his undergraduate degree in economics, cum laude, from Princeton University.

This fall, Mishra will teach an undergraduate course in leadership as part of the College’s Leadership and Professional Development Program while also developing new research and teaching initiatives, including an MBA-level leadership course.

The College of Business’ leadership chair was made possible by Tom Arthur of Tampa, Fla., who donated $1 million to the ECU Foundation to establish the endowed professorship. The university’s long-range plan is to endow leadership chairs for each college in the university.

Arthur earned his MBA from ECU in 1971 and is the grandson of Louis C. Arthur, one of the nine men who submitted the formal location offer of the East Carolina Teachers Training School to the State Board of Education in 1907. Before his MBA, Arthur earned his undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in 1966 and then served three years as an infantry officer during the Vietnam War, earning the Silver Star and other military awards.

Arthur said, “Leadership is everywhere you look. Thanks to this new leadership chair and others to come, we will send our students away from ECU with a stronger leadership foundation, which is critical because everybody will probably end up serving as a leader at some point – and good leaders can make a big difference.”

Drake and Seeman Collaborate on ECU’s first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)

ECU faculty members Dr. John Drake and Dr. Elaine Seeman, and Dr. Ramin Maysami of the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, opened the course, “The Transformation of Asian Economies,” on May 19.

Drake and Seeman explained that with North Carolina’s tightening educational budget, universities are being challenged to effectively educate more students with fewer funds. “This MOOC demonstrates that ECU can continue its leadership in distance education and better achieve its mission in these fiscally challenging times,” said Drake.

The free seven-week course was developed collaboratively by ECU and UNC at Pembroke with a grant from the UNC General Administration.

MOOCThe course focuses on successes and failures of government policies in promoting economic growth, the role of culture in shaping such policies and what lessons can be learned and applied to newly emerging economies. “Our primary goal was to help students understand the process that countries go through to move from developing to developed economies,” said Drake, assistant professor of management information systems in ECU’s College of Business.

So far, more than 80 students from around the world have enrolled. “We have a lot of students from Russia, Peru, and professionals working in the world trade,” said Seeman, associate professor of management information systems in ECU’s College of Business.

The course, which has been in development over the past year, incorporates online discussion forums for students to share their stories and personal experiences related to the topic. “What we’re running right now is a kind of a pilot, or a proof of concept,” Seeman said. “The idea is that over time, the course will get richer and richer.”

Drake said that offering the MOOC is one of many ways that ECU can serve the community. “Hopefully we can do more of this in the future,” he said. “I hope that ECU can work together with professors to develop more materials that can reach out to much wider groups of people.”

Seeman, who has been developing and teaching online classes since 1995, said that MOOCs and other forms of distance education make learning available to people who may not have the opportunity to attend a university. “There are different ways that people learn, and this works very well for some people,” she said.

For more information about the course, visit

BB&T CEO Kelly King to Speak at ECU on October 30

Kelly S. King, chairman and chief executive officer of BB&T Corporation, will speak at East Carolina University on Wednesday, October 30, hosted by the College of Business’ Leadership and Professional Development Program. The public is invited to attend this free even, which will begin at 3:30 pm in Wright Auditorium at ECU.

Kelly King_9-13 desk shot-2

Click on the link below to learn more about Kelly King.

ECU to Host BB&T CEO