Phronesis: Practical Wisdom for Leaders

Dr. David Fearon - Practice as a Way of Being

July 18, 2022 Scott J. Allen Season 1 Episode 133
Phronesis: Practical Wisdom for Leaders
Dr. David Fearon - Practice as a Way of Being
Show Notes Transcript

Practice is Dr. Dave Fearon's way of being. 

  • His practice?  Irrepressible Teaching. Before, during, and after the 50+ years, he was a professor. 
  • His subject?  You; and why your practice matters to him, to everyone, and, of course, to you.
  • His medium?  Wherever and to whomever digital takes him.


Accordingly, his new digital-first book with the late, highly regarded Leadership thinker Peter B. Vaill is titled: Practice as a Way of Being: Peter Vaill’s Conjectures on Why Your Practice Matters.

His long-running podcast that Dave originated with Peter is called Practice? 

“Irrepressible” because six years ago, David S. Fearon, Emeritus Professor of Management & Organizational Behavior, Central Connecticut State University, capped off 55 years as a successful Management Educator, practicing leadership in how he taught and how he served colleges and communities as dean and professor.

Retired, Dave tried leisure, taking up golf and offering the occasional workshop, but he could not stop being a teacher. So, when the call came from Peter, his own most revered teacher, inviting a chance to draw attention to Practice as a tantalizingly under-taught but universally important question, Dave gave up the leisure (but not the golf).

Now Practice is Dave’s practice, and it’s all about You.


Resources Mentioned in This Episode


A Quote From This Episode

  • "So imagine now the wonderful journey someone's making - assuming they're continuing to get better, no matter what the conditions, the payoff is your practice. And it will take you into a context and land you in a moment in time."
  • "I think leadership is summoned...and it's summoned by genuine question."


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  • The views of my guests do not constitute "truth." Nor do they reflect my personal views in some instances. However, they are important views to be aware of. Nothing can replace your own research and exploration.


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Note: Voice-to-text transcriptions are about 90% accurate and conversations-to-text do not always translate perfectly. I include it to provide you with the spirit of the conversation.

Scott Allen  0:00  
Okay, everybody, welcome to another episode of Phronesis. And today, I have a newer friend, but a friend. And we've kind of connected as well. I don't know that we've actually shared space physically, but we've shared space digitally over the last couple of years. And I have great respect for his work. This is Dave Fearon, and you know what? He sent me his bio, and it's a fun bio. We often get very, very stingy bios; this is a little bit different. So I'm going to give you a little bit about Dave. And then we'll jump into our conversation today because he's had some adventures over the last few years on a very, very important and cool project. Here's a little bit about Dave, practice is Dave's way of being his practice, irrepressible teaching before, during, and after the 50-plus years he was a professor, his subject you and why your practice matters to him to everyone, and of course, to you, his medium, wherever and to whomever digital takes him. accordingly. His new digital-first book, with the late highly regarded leadership thinker, Peter B. Vaill, is titled practice as a way of being Peter Vaill's conjectures on why your practice matters. His long-running podcast that Dave originated with Peter is called "Practice?" Irrepressible because six years ago, Dave, who's an emeritus professor of management and organizational behavior at Central Connecticut State University, capped off 55 years as a successful management educator practicing leadership and how he taught and how he served colleges and communities as a dean and professor, retired, Dave tried leisure taking up golf and offering the occasional workshop. Still, he could not stop being a teacher. So when the call came from Peter, his own most revered teacher, inviting a chance to draw attention to practice, as a tantalizingly under-taught but universally important question, Dave gave up the leisure, but not the golf. Now practice is Dave's practice. And it's all about you. 15,

Dave Fearon  2:18  
I think we're done here!

Scott Allen  2:21  
Well, so here's this is the first thing that I didn't have so much respective 55 years as an educator, and you are you had just mentioned a couple of moments ago, look, as I kind of close the door on my 70s. And you are just continuing to engage and learn and explore more than ever. Is that accurate?

Dave Fearon  2:43  
Yes, it is. And I will thank you first, thank you very much for this opportunity. But also, let's thank digital - "thanks, Zoom." Let's thank all the wonderful, easy ways that this medium has allowed us to meet new people to reinforce our relationships. It's truly incredible, isn't it? I can sit here in Northwestern Connecticut to be talking to you in Ohio. When Peter and I started the podcast, we put on these earphones that folks can't see. Peter put them on. He was at three when he put them on. And he was quite down on his health. And I remember him looking at me through this peering at me through the screen. And he was saying, Dave, we've gone digital. So that's why my bio is so weird. Digital practice, practice, practice.

Scott Allen  3:40  
I love it. I love it. Okay, so I want to go to a couple of different streams of dialogue. But first, you know, you started this podcast, and the two of you started it. You're still going to talk about that, would you please?

Dave Fearon  3:54  
Well, in the bio that I just gave you to read -  the word that we're interested in "you." And so if it was Peter and me interested in each other, then we brought on a few former students of mine and Steve Mizel of Kali. And I noticed how Peter perked up he just loved to have what we would call a practitioner in conversation. And of course, I have always loved it. So when he passed away, we were actually laying out a schedule and who we wanted to have these conversations with him that April right after he died and so I thought first I'll keep them going to honor Peter but also I realized that as a matter of research small are anytime in you know this because you do it. You have these spontaneous conversations. Wonderful things pop out. Yeah, just like never would get it if you were looking at an edited journal piece or from a research standpoint if I can sit here in digitally connect With over 100 people now, that moment to find these little gems. I just finished editing one last night. My eyes are still red from it. It was a young one of our colleagues, Gordon Schmidt. Wonderful. Yeah, very active in society for OB teaching. He's got a book out with a colleague on Marvel, Mar ve L. Yes. What a gem. And by the time I finished that conversation with him, I'd learned half a dozen tax exempt. So your question is, "why?" Why do I keep doing it? It is very energizing. And I get a chance to write these sort of little word poems and portraits of people as a form of art.

Scott Allen  5:46  
And it's so it's, I'm going to put a link to our conversation so people can get a taste of that because we spoke probably about a year and a half ago,

Dave Fearon  5:52  
maybe it was my earlier episodes. You know, it's

Scott Allen  5:57  
when people asked me about the podcasts, they say, you know, what, what are you getting from it, and tell me about it. And maybe this will resonate with you. I think of it as like six or seven wins. First, I'm learning it's kind of systematized my learning because I'm always asking people, okay, what have you been reading, and then that goes into my audible wishlist and so on. So it's systematized my learning on kind of a number of different levels. But then my network is built. I'm having conversations with people all over the world. In some cases, I should have no reason to be in dialogue with them. But I am. And to your point, I loved how you phrase that there are little phrases that people have used that have woven their way into my life. Souba, I had him as former dean of the College of Medicine at Dartmouth. And he said, Look, this isn't this work is a "mountain without a top." And that's it stuck with me, right? Or Doug Lindsay said, look, he actually it was a quote from Bob Hogan, who said, "who you are, is how you lead." And that that's something that is just kind of stuck with me. And so it gets led to writing projects, it's led to friendships, it's led to me exploring topics I never probably would have really known much about, I thought I knew about the topic of leadership. But no.

Dave Fearon  7:21  
That's that mountain without the top, right? In a barrel, I'll borrow that when I started thinking I knew about leadership when I was a little kid, you know, the YMCA and all of that. And here we are still scratching heads. But Peter worked for years and years trying to fathom leadership. But I want to add, though, first, wait, you just said Scott means to me that this is a wonderful way to become an ever-better teacher. Yes, you know, the modeling of that kind of curiosity, the energy, the networking, the things you've done with your leadership program for the collegiate competitions, all of that works from the inside out. And it'll push you in a position when you finally reach my age, where you're going to be able to say the same thing. I may stuff, you know, I might have retired, I might have gotten some honors, that are hanging the emeritus on, no one in the world really knows what emeritus means. But that but then you're going to keep on you're going to find a way. So here's the good news, digital will be our universe going forward. You can always find a person or group with whom, with whom you can interact in a teaching way. That's the good news. And the other thing is you need something that's, that's always going to be there for me when Peter pointed it out. Practice is always going to be there. The three guys I played golf with today, I watched how differently they played have been, you know, played more years, and I. And so I was watching their technique, I was also watching how these three guys have always played together. Get along, I was always seeing if they would incorporate me, you know, in the foursome even because I was kind of asked to join. So there's always a subject of real interest. And there is a small literature on practice, a huge one on all the theories that are out there. But I'm beginning to see people like Joe Raelin and others who are looking at practice and altogether new ways and leadership in altogether new ways. And that makes me feel like I'm part of something. And the OD people for sure. It makes me feel like I'm part of something and hey, otherwise, it'd be lonely as hell out here in northwestern Connecticut, as much as I love my wife and our cat.

Scott Allen  9:39  
So let's go there for a second. Dave. I think, at times, really clarifying how we're defining practice is important. Is it practice like I'm on the golf course and I'm practicing my swing. Is it "practice" in an attorney practices medicine? How do you think about the term I've even heard at times, people use practising with an "s". It can be this is a realm I haven't delved too deeply into Joe's work. So talk a little bit about that.

Dave Fearon  10:12  
We have 32 conjectures on practice in our book on practice, and they're all conjectures. But what Peter started and I worked with amplified was this notion that, like many terms that we can use in a dozen different ways, it almost seems to have lost its real meaning. But when you delve into it, the way we look at it started, I think, to become quite fascinating. Basically, the way of thinking about a practice that we use to anchor all of these conjectures was that it is, first and foremost, with a choice, okay, a person makes a choice, among all the things they can do with their time in life to pursue a stream of results. So it's very much focused on to do it's very much focused on, but ever increasingly challenging results. So I choose to play golf as a not very good golfer and certainly not an athlete. But I made the choice, I could have given it up in about a week, you know, like I did when I was, you know, 35, and said, I don't have time for this. But once I made that choice, and then I started to see little incremental results. So that's the next part; you get the results. Now, in ever-changing conditions, circumstances constantly changing. That's Peter Vaill's Whitewater. So while I am focused on becoming better at something, ever better at something, I've got conditions to deal with, and we know as teachers of leadership and organizational behavior that those conditions are largely social and are more complex than the human mind will ever grass. So imagine now the wonderful journey someone's making, assuming they're going to continue to get better, no matter what the conditions, the payoff in our way of thinking is your practice and will take you into a context and land you in a moment of time, just like us right now. Oh, you're in a context. And now we teach kids, kids, anyone under 50 is a kid.

Scott Allen  12:20  
So that's me; I turn 50 In October.

Dave Fearon  12:22  
so Alright, kid, you got a few more weeks ahead. But you know, but what we teach these kids, we teach them to be situationally aware, we let we teach them how to read the conditions in which they are placed at the moment we call a managerial exercises. You know, we do these, like your leadership challenges for your national competition, we want these kids to realize that once they land, that's where they can, action is going to take place. They are the source of the action, they also get pragmatically immediate feedback on whether they made the right choices or not. So practice, from that point on is anyone I'm looking at, who seems to be quite serious and persistent, and maybe even having a bit of enjoyment when they land a particular result. You'll even see it in your own daughters when they actually finally break through and have a moment and a huge joy. Now, that's when I'm hooked. And so, if I can help people be encouraged to keep trying, no matter what the dismal situations we've all faced, I don't know any other better way to use my time going forward.

Scott Allen  13:32  
Talk about some of the conjectures, would you because you just finished the book, correct?

Dave Fearon  13:38  
Yes, this is a cool thing about the book I had an opportunity to build the book as an app, and a digital platform called my library dot world. At first, I was nervous because it wasn't going to come out, you know, in paper and be on a shelf. And now, the good thing about the book is, while all of it is finished, every word that Peter wrote in his raw manuscript we've set up in his 32 conjectures, that part is done. But anything I wrote in introducing each conjecture, I can go back and change if I want to because it's digital. The other piece is that now we have the toolkit. So I can start putting links into each of the conjectures, a link to a podcast, a link to one of your articles; I can make it more of an enriching experience.

Scott Allen  14:32  
I mean, it's a new medium by which we can convey knowledge, but it's something that's continually evolving. It's not static. And here it's

Dave Fearon  14:45  
like, it's like practice itself. It really is. Let me see if I can give you a quick screen share so you can actually see it. Yeah, so this is what the book looks like. Doesn't look like anything you've written, does it? No. Other folks, what you see here.

Scott Allen  14:58  
I see a dashboard and it says, "why your practice matters," "curiosities of practice," "the nature of practice," 'beliefs and myths about practice," and "the practitioner and practice systems."

Dave Fearon  15:11  
So if I click on any one of these, these are the way that conjectures come out. Okay, so 14 through 17. I'll just read a few for the folks. This is how Peters thinking, you know; his way of thinking is in everything is written "learning as a way of being" and  "management as performing art." They all have a wonderful essay tone, prose, almost poetry, and the way he would write, as well as being extremely well set in scholarship. So let's just say practice is very interactive. That's what we're doing right now. Yeah. So you click on that, and you will see that in italics, is my setup for the web, Peter writes. And I look at the way you do when you were sitting, you're setting up a moment in your class, you give it either digitally, or you do it verbally, and you say, Okay, this is what's going on. So I kind of give a little preview, pay attention to this and that, and then we read Peter. Now this one is very short. So he says, 

  • Practice is very interactive. One of the most important and interesting things about practice is it's interconnected and some practitioners talk of their practices. So it was a freestanding thing that they possess, something that could be bought and sold, there probably is a practice whose focus is placing $1 value and other practices. The perception of practice as a free-standing thing came to a poignant focus for me some years ago when at the end of an MBA class on interpersonal relations and group behavior, one of the ablest and active students came to me after the offering and said, you know, Professor Vale when I got out, I'm not going to have any of these problems with people at work, all of these problems of misunderstanding and conflict. All this time and effort spent on sorting out human relationships by I asked the students who said, 'because it's going to be just me, a secretary and a terminal.' 

And this is Peter Vail, this is C, he was my teacher, as I mentioned, probably in our first conversation, he was my teacher, my doctoral teacher at the University of Connecticut, I was 2728 years old, when I started in that program, really, I was a kid. And I met this person who would pick up on things like he just quoted here. And remember, I remember that conversation for many years; he seemed to be so in tune and so interested in what I knew, as much as I was interested in what he knew. And that kind of became my way of being a teacher, why I was particularly hooked on it, and kept it going for 50 plus years. So that's, that's what, folks, that's what the new digital book looks like. You can just flip through, and it looks like just a little bit of writing. But Scott, you well know, it's a hell of a job. Oh, two, to get it just right. Fred copyedited. Fred again. And I suspect that if I started to read any more, I would come across the one little thing we missed. We can change it in a digital book.


Scott Allen  18:17  
Well, that's the good thing. Right? You can. So and then again, you've got other resources kind of built into. Yeah,

Dave Fearon  18:25  
I'll show you real quick. Yeah, so

Scott Allen  18:27  
There are other resources that people can tap into, which, again, it's been wonderful as I've woven podcasts into my teaching, documentaries, or just other ways to communicate and convey information; it just complements in such a nice way. Right?

Dave Fearon  18:48  
Your students are seeing who I call the "new new" professor; you are the next generation in our field. And I immediately noticed when you became active on LinkedIn and, and other ways and I thought now there is what our students should see. They should see us in the same community where they hang out, which is social media, you know, with universal access, and they should see us in conversation with people who are serious scholars and then less serious scholars like Dave Fearon, but they should see that and really, I mean, they should see that you know. They might think that we are all pretty much you know, academic snobs and that we won't even speak about a theory unless it's been journaled. You know, in the best journals and all the rest which is important and they should know that those sources are there, but we also know in reality, as well they that we are action learners to that we like to pick up on things and particular In the organizational world because it's, it's fun and interesting and scary.

Scott Allen  20:05  
And you said a word that is just become my favorite word, which is curious. As to your point as everything is shifting around us. And I just think in more recent years, digitization globalization, with those shifts, comes so many seismic adjustments that have to be made. And, you know, I was working with a large, a large automotive company in recent weeks. And they are really trying to figure out what we hold on to that is incredibly important to the DNA as to who we are. And where are we headed? Because it's that Marshall Goldsmith, what got you here won't get you there. And it's complex and, in some cases, fairly chaotic out there. When it comes to what our strategy, how do we move forward? How do we proceed? This just happened? Oh, my gosh, that's a thing. Yes. Woof. Okay, what do we do?

Dave Fearon  21:06  
And so those are, those are right on, and you've rescued carrot, you characterize what I think is very familiar to a lot of us. But you've also given an example of how I believe leadership happens. I think leadership is summoned, summoned, you know, like, come on out. And it's someone by genuine question. You can always tell when you're getting a sort of a, what do you think question versus, hey, you know, the stuff is on the fan blades, you know, and the best ideas will be considered as well as the worst is, there's a moment when people will actually listen to someone else and get some clues and maybe change their behavior. But in my case, I've never, you know, how we been a Mainer? One of our phrases was, well, you can't push a string. You can't push a string. And I think, what the hell does that mean? We'll just try it. You're right, at Porsche string, and you can't force your leadership on others, even though we know. It's been tried in a very disgusting way by a former president, but you can't push a string. So what is it? What makes leadership come out of you and me and, and anyone else? And it is a summons. And it's usually summoned by either a personal question being asked, or there's a sort of a universal question. That's always there to you know, that, and I think that's where Joe Raylan and some of the folks in leadership or practice are going there. They're getting a sense that things that people do together constitute leadership. And why are they doing it together? It's almost impossible to see why but they're moving is like watching the proverbial geese in flight. And why, how did they know who you know who got to be the front goose and who got the goose at the end? Yeah, so it is a fascinating subject that you're you're focusing your podcasts on, and your annual read much of your work.

Scott Allen  23:20  
I've never heard it phrased that way. When uh, one of those quotes that again, back to the snippets that just stay in my mind is Ron Riggio, maybe it was episode five or six. He said, "Leaders don't do leadership. It's co-created." Yeah. And then that makes me think of, you know, Ron Heifetz in some of his work about when you're navigating adaptive challenges, or incredibly complicated, or I'm sorry, incredibly complex or chaotic situations. I think at times, as leaders, we think we have to have the answers when in reality, I think the great leaders need to be asking the right questions, and I love that phrasing that you just used of it being summoned. And again, leadership is another area, at least in my opinion, where language fails us in some ways,

Dave Fearon  24:10  
because it's so practiced. Everyone knows the word, but they don't know what it means. Yeah, they can't agree on what it means. Yeah, yeah. But I think leaving itself could be a form of summoning if you look at it from who arises teachers, yeah. What are all of our questions about the ones that are formally posed in exams are a new way? We're constantly questioning ad nauseam sometime, but in that sense, what we're doing is we're giving the students an experience and having an idea that could be formed into an answer shaped by several into an answer. And they need that experience over and over again for their whole life. So when we are not giving the answer in our is up, you will do this, and you will do that. But giving really good questions that you, you don't particularly know the answer you, you might know a little more than they. It's a much different experience. I remember reading Karl Weick's work in organizational learning. And he talked an awful lot about the unspoken question. And the end, the answer is through behavior because he observed these firefighters; once we delve into this, of course, it will make the listeners absolutely crazy. They'll go like, click Alright, what else do I listen to? Gilbert Godfried still doing his podcast? No, I'm sorry, Gilbert passed away.

Scott Allen  25:37  
Well, okay, so I'm going to kind of stick with the theme of this question real quick. So I was at the management and organizational behavior teaching Society conference this summer in Pomona, and I was at lunch. And it was one of those moments that you were talking about a little bit ago; these moments just really stick out. And a fellow colleague of ours, who's an educator in Pennsylvania, said, "I love my questions." And we were talking about teaching online and having students respond to certain stimuli. And, wow, that just set the bar in my head because it made me think, Wow, do I really love my questions? Do I love the questions that I'm asking the students? And are they really good questions that will stimulate really incredible responses and perspectives and thoughts and insights? And I don't know that they're there. They're not there, in fact, but I think in some ways, leadership is your question, the right ones that are going to catapult us forward that are going to get to the heart. I mean, that's such an important piece of the work that I think a large faction of people don't think about when it comes to the topic of leadership. That's something to practice. Can you identify great questions that you love and transform the organization to a different paradigm.

Dave Fearon  27:00  
We do not see that if you set that as one of your practice goals that, you know, formulating, either enhancing your practice as a teacher or even saying, Okay, I'm going to, we've talked, Peter and I talked about that you can have multiple practices, and sometimes they're complimentary. But if you took that one's got, which is beautiful, and just said, I was inspired at lunch by a fellow practitioner, who said, I love my questions now. Why don't I set a stream of results? Asking and testing and asking the testing question, sometimes with others sometimes on paper, but watching in from a research standpoint, what the responses elicit change? How does it work? So being an excellent questioner is a very compatible way of being, Don't you think?

Scott Allen  27:55  
Oh, oh, I think as a parent, as a teacher, as a leader, yeah. I think in all aspects of life as a conversationalist. I mean, I have friends who are just incredibly skilled and I don't know that it's intentional on their part. But a conversation can flow for long periods of time, based on just a couple of wonderful questions that started us off on the dialog. And then I have other friends where, you know, they struggle to keep the conversation flowing, you know, even something as simple as, how are you?

Dave Fearon  28:31  
What do you mean by that?

Scott Allen  28:32  
Is it really tapping?

Dave Fearon  28:34  
Do you know something that I don't? Yeah. When a doctor asks you that, you say what I'm paying you to tell me the answer. But there is Dave, my son, Dave, and I; we've done quite a few of the podcasts, and we have a framework for this, called an action, social inaction that he developed when he was working on his doctorate we talk about the conversation itself. And he is his studies when he was very intensively doing it was to basically do conversation analysis go down to you know, word by word exchanges, documenting, you know, in with video showing where there's a moment, after which there's change. So that is really that molecular, but when you're looking at the practice itself, practice is interactive. As Peter said, no one really sits in an office and does the whole job with a computer. So what is one of the natural ways that we keep ourselves altogether and going, it's a conversation, and then he breaks that out in terms of action through, you know, first getting the meaning and getting a bit of accountability? Yes, I understand what you're saying. You're nodding. But then the payoff as his study went is, that it forms relationships, which then become strong enough to be bonded. And once you have those social bonds, now you can ask the more difficult questions and expect the trust level is going to allow you to get some more profound answers. And I think that's what we're all going for is, let's get some better answers when you get them if you can keep a conversational

Scott Allen  30:23  
skill set. When I'm talking with colleagues or students or friends about this, it's for me, it's about two things. I'm asking questions to do two things to learn or to find a connection. And I might be with someone where I know very, very little about what it is they do. But I can; it's an opportunity to genuinely learn. And I'm curious, and I love learning about any number of different topics that I don't have any knowledge of. But then I also love it, when I can find that commonality, I can find that source of similarity. The other day, I was with an executive and I said, you know, we're going we're on our way to Alaska, and oh, he loved Alaska. And we just floated on that dialogue for probably 1015 minutes. And to your point, it just greases the skids. And we just move forward because there's that connection. So I'm learning. I'm trying to find that connection. And sometimes it's both, and it's wonderful. Sometimes I'm just learning. But both are good, right? And it's authentic.

Dave Fearon  31:30  
It is. And I tell you that your Alaska story reminds me, you know, you can tell I grew up in Maine because everything reminds me of a story. But I think that's another way that this works. Because where are you from comes to be a very common thing that we end up asking each other where I'm living now. No, where are you from? So you get back to roots. And you get back to someone who will say, Oh, me. Yeah, I used to vacation. So I got that one. So okay, we've already got something going here. And then you say, where did you go? I don't remember the name of the town, but it was near a lake. Well, that was always there was. So you know, I think what, when I noticed you, you made me feel very much at ease. So and I think that that is also this, this genre of podcasting is not for everyone, I've cautioned some people who really want us to get very structured and they, and then I've had some people ask me if they could be on my podcast because they essentially want to lecture they want to, they've got a book to promote. And I kindly say that I'm more interested in you. We'll certainly talk about your book, but I'm interested in you. So if you're okay about talking about yourself, you'll get a chance to promote the book, but we're not just there are other podcasts that just do that. You've had that experience, haven't you? Oh, for

Scott Allen  33:01  
sure. For sure. I've had guests who? Yes, they just want to come on and talk. And literally, it's a monologue or it can feel that way. Oh, I don't like that. And, and I also have had the instance where, you know, someone wants to know exactly what questions, and that just doesn't feel as organic for me. I've, I've, I've worked in a few times where I've said, Okay, here's the general flow. But you know, we might get on something new, and we can edit if we need to. But it's, it's it is different. I always, I always love in some ways, not knowing as much where the conversation is gonna go. Because to your point from earlier, for me, that's kind of where some of the magic is.

Dave Fearon  33:43  
It definitely is no, but let's call the word curious. One more time, because I'm not watching your clock. I should be, but I look at that word curious. You know, they, if you were in curious, not curious, and only in didn't and hated surprises, you would definitely not do podcasts. You could, you know, make presentations at the Academy of Management, you know, with lots of slides, a whole deck.

Scott Allen  34:14  
No room lights were down, and the open deck was 60 slides. Yeah, as I say, "I know you can't see this."

Dave Fearon  34:25  
But curiosity is why I think you're funny. You are attracted to the management organization behavior, teaching society why I was two and why those campus June meetings, which I went to for many, many years, were so magical, because, well, for one thing, we always wore the t-shirt that you could be sitting next to a highly published thinker and he or she would be casually dressed we had a lot of cross-cultural rules basically saying, you know, leave here your title and your ego Get in the car and come on campus. Let's be teachers. But let's also be learners. And let's see what we find out. So yeah, things got structured more over the years. But basically, there was still that moment where you had that lunch with a person who gave you a really good line.

Scott Allen  35:17  
So as we kind of began to wind down because we're at 40 minutes already, I mean, it's what are you reading right now? I know you've been doing a lot of writing. So maybe you haven't been reading much. But is there something that's caught your eye, maybe you've been streaming or listening to, or a book you picked up that you would want listeners to know about something that has caught your attention in recent times? It could have to do with what we've discussed, it may have something completely nothing to do with it.

Dave Fearon  35:45  
Well, as I mentioned, I was retired in my bio. So I don't do much of that really serious reading with, you know, stacks of other people's books. But I still do. And I'm more. I'm more of an auditory and a viewer kind of learner right now. And let me mention something that I mentioned briefly yesterday with my podcast with Gordon Schmidt. There is a really, really good season one on Hulu called the bear. Okay, I

Scott Allen  36:17  
haven't heard of it. Oh.

Dave Fearon  36:22  
You know, how we like to teach film from Yeah, yeah. It's beautifully done and has a documentary feel to it. But it takes place and was filmed in Chicago in a real restaurant called "The Beef." But you don't get to know why they call it the bear until you get to the last episode for this season. But the point of bringing it up is that it takes you out to the kitchen in this little place where you know, people traditionally come and get their beef sandwiches and go back to work. But behind the scenes, it is such a gripping story. But, you can see each behavior as they've tried to go from a failed, really sloppy mess that this guy's brother left. And when he committed suicide, to where they're actually referring to each other as Chef, it's not a Disney ending either. So like everyone suddenly has bluebirds flying around their heads. But in there's a lot of lovely foul language. But it's real. It's so real, the acting is so real. And in so from the standpoint of on what we used to say debriefing or unpacking those kinds of things if I were still back in a classroom, that would be that series, it'd be on my syllabus, and we'd be talking about it. And we'd be looking at different characters and saying, Well, what about the young African American woman who really aspired to be a wonderful chef? Who followed this guy because he was world-renowned and came back to save his resteraunt. And what about her behavior as she's being very assertive in the midst of all these Chicago gov, tough people? And let's look at her behavior; what's going through her mind? So that's sort of my answer to what I enjoy the most. I love to be attracted to really realistic stories, well-told realistic stories. And then I could, if I were, again, still back in the classroom, I would be pulling students in. And from a reading standpoint, I just keep rereading on practice as a way of being avails conjectures. And right back. I mean, I can't put it down. Was that shameless? No, I love it.

Scott Allen  38:34  
I love it. If you're a Hulu fan, I've mentioned this a couple of times on the podcast, but listeners may be interested in and of itself. Have you watched that? No, in and of itself, okay. You're gonna send me an email after you watch this, please, please. I've watched it four times. And it's just an incredibly powerful, powerful production. I'll just I, you know, I hope I'm not overselling it. So there's that in and of itself. And then And then also, when you mentioned the bear, and I will put that on the list for sure. Check it out. But I also you said I would be using this in class. I was at the Rock Hall, the Rock, and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland with my daughters last weekend. And they have a Beatles exhibit right now where they're actually showing us a special cut created by Peter Jackson of the final concert on the rooftop, right? Well, I don't know if you've had a chance to watch that documentary to get back documentary but watching them sit in a room and try and create an album. That's fascinating. I'm trying to figure out because we're going to be with gray Harris, the CEO of The Rock Hall, this fall for class, and I'm trying to figure out cash could I use the documentary get back because just the dynamics in that are fast So needing to watch?

Dave Fearon  40:02  
Well, I could picture that on the roof on that last attempt, and the word get back would come to mind. And what I would say is what they're trying to do is get back to feeling the magic. However, you want to name it, that they had, you know, now years before, can you rekindle that? Can you? Can you bring those bonds back? Since they've been somewhat torn? And let's watch them go through now then the next question would be, is the music different? Is it better? Is it, you know, what is it? Yes, the music's different. It's a different Beatles, but there's still Beatles. So yeah, you can have a lot of a lot, a lot of fun with that. And that one I will definitely look at. So I get a lot to watch. I'll have more, no more time to plug my book. In. And, for a listener like myself

Scott Allen  40:56  
for listeners, you can find a bunch of resources on what Dave has been working on. I'm going to place those in the show notes, a link to his podcast, and the link to the book. And I think it's just a wonderful opportunity to stay curious and follow an individual who has just given his life to learning and helping others. build that habit of mind and that way of being to go back to our friend, Peter Vail. A way of being, sir, we'll do this again.

Dave Fearon  41:27  
I hope so.

Scott Allen  41:28  
I am so thankful for your time today. Have a wonderful rest of your summer. Good luck on good luck practicing on the course. Whatever course that might be!

Dave Fearon  41:39  
...of life. Okay, you got Okay.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai