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Linda Ginzel is a clinical professor of managerial psychology at The University of Chicago Booth School of Business in the US, which has been her dream job since 1992. She hopes to teach managers how to think more like social psychologists in order to improve outcomes for everyone.
Professor Ginzel held her first academic position at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. She has also worked at the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.
Her father was a member of the US military and so she spent her childhood in three countries: South Korea, Germany and the US. Prof Ginzel studied for her master’s degree and PhD at Princeton University.
In her spare time, she enjoys international films and historical walking tours. She has also co-founded Kids in Danger, a non-profit organisation dedicated to improving children’s product safety.
Prof Ginzel will be available to answer your questions in a live web chat on Thursday 3rd November, 13.00-14.00 GMT. Post your questions now to firstname.lastname@example.org and they will be answered on the day.
1. What academic achievement are you most proud of?
I recently won the Academic Excellence Award from our students in the evening and weekend MBA programme. This award honours faculty members who have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to teaching. I find it especially gratifying to be acknowledged by our students for teaching topics such as negotiations, management and leadership at Booth, which is so well known for economics and finance.
2. What is the strangest thing you have ever done when teaching?
I have climbed up onto a desk and walked around the room on top of all the other desks while continuing to lecture in order to illustrate the concept of norms. But based on their reaction, my students would likely say that my imitation of the mother of Margaret Cho, the actress is pretty strange.
3. Who are your business heroes?
Hands down and without question, it is the one and only Steve Jobs.
4. What is the best piece of advice given to you by a teacher?
Jeff Pfeffer, my friend and colleague at Stanford University helped me to make better choices with this truism: “Beware of once-in-a-lifetime opportunities that come along everyday”.
5. What advice would you give to women in business?
I do not think that my advice is any different for women than for men in business. I tell all my students to be sure that they have a strong sense of their own priorities so that they do not end up making choices based on the priorities of others. I believe that who we become depends on the everyday choices that we make, and we must choose wisely. As Steve Job’s said in his Stanford commencement speech: “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life”.
6. What is the worst job you have ever had?
I have never had a bad job, and I have been working since I was a kid. I was in junior high when I took my first job in sales at the department store Montgomery Wards. In high school, I worked as a receptionist at a hair salon, scooped ice cream at Baskin Robbins and waitressed at Mr Steak. In college, I continued to waitress and worked as an assistant manager of an apartment complex. I have also sold life insurance and worked as corporate training consultant at MONY Financial Services in New York.
7. How do you deal with male-dominated environments?
I have four sons and they and my husband claim that our life is female dominated!
8. What is the last book you read?
I read a lot for my work, so I try to read for fun when I travel. On a recent flight home from teaching in Singapore, I read How I Planned Your Wedding by Susan Wiggs and Elizabeth Wiggs Maas. It was given to me by one of the co-authors, Elizabeth who happened to be an MBA student in my practice of leadership course - she is a terrific writer.
9. What is your favourite business book?
Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth and Happiness by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein. I love this book because it helps us to understand how to change behaviour at the organisation and societal level, based on insights that occur at the intersection of psychology and economics. Thaler and Sunstein have already had a huge impact on improving public policy in many countries including the US, England and South Korea.
10. Where is your favourite place to teach?
Booth has a campus in Singapore, where I teach negotiations to our EMBA students. I am completely over the moon about their tropical fruits - my favourite is the purple mangosteen. I often teach at the height of the durian season and have established a tradition of fresh durian tasting for my students. It is hard to believe how a fruit can arouse so much passion – pure adoration from some people and complete disgust from others.
Compiled by Charlotte Clarke
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