New Collaborative Research Leads to Solutions for Liberal Arts Colleges During Covid-19

A research on the sustainability in the scope of higher education led by Dr. Daryl D. Green, Dr. George Taylor III, and Mrs Violet Ford has opened many windows of opportunities. The study is known as ‘Cultivating the Entrepreneurial Mindset In Today’s Small Liberal Colleges & Universities’ outlines the importance of restructuration in colleges and universities with an entrepreneurial mindset for long-term sustainability.

The coronavirus situation has led to disruptive changes in the academic workflow of students in universities and colleges. With an ongoing volatile market, higher education has been impacted immensely with a direct connotation about underachieving and unprepared pass outs from these educational institutes. This has also propagated stark declining numbers in college enrolments and projections and surveys across the United States point at as much as 450,000 drops in students in years beyond 2025. Previous research, undertaken by Harvard professor, DR. Clayton Christensen also states that in the scope of organizational sustainability in educational institutes, disruptive changes and innovation will lead to 50% of 4,000 colleges and universities in the country to go bankrupt in the next 10 to 15 years.

The outcome of these regressive changes has hit independent liberal art colleges the most. Traditional institutes are also at risk of getting negatively impacted by disruptive change. This brings about uncertainty and unpredictability in various verticals of the market, innovation, industry, and more. “Cultivating an entrepreneurial mindset will infuse innovative thinking to difficult problems and provide new revenue streams to universities that utilize student tuition as the principle income for these academic institutions,” Dr. Green notes. Fellow research scholar, Mrs. Ford adds, “At the heart of entrepreneurship is pursuing opportunities with a vision. Traditional organizations will keep creativity within the confines of the classroom; whereas, entrepreneurial driven educational organizations will cultivate and develop creativity throughout an educational system. Thus, the presence of institutional entrepreneurial practice is needed to both create business models and actively participate in implementing changes that can drive transformational change.”

The study leads to a fundamental understanding of the importance of entrepreneurial objectives among students.  Dr. Taylor further suggests, “Early considerations of the entrepreneurial mindset within liberal art colleges show that liberal arts students were encouraged to develop characteristics fundamental to entrepreneurial thinking….Although the entrepreneurial mindset is receiving increased attention that encourages students to think in new, innovative ways while improving their life skills, there is little evidence to support its widespread consideration and implementation at a significant level within traditional liberal arts colleges.”  Ford, Green, and Taylor hope that the current paradigm among academic institutions will change.  The collective effort by the scholars will further inculcate ideas of founding a more sustainable education system that is flexible and progressive.

To view this research, please visit

For more information about the researchers, you may contact Dr. Green at or 405-585-4414

Disruption in Mission Work: New OBU Research Addresses Sustainable Growth Strategies

Oklahoma Baptist University (OBU) releases new published research entitled, ‘Mobilizing Missions in a Disruptive World: International Sports Federation Case Study,’ which provides functional significance in the sustainable growth for today’s non-profit organizations.

The structure of the American business economy has seen the prevalence of various non-profit organizations since the late 1800s. With religious pursuits as one of their main objectives, many such organizations have grown significantly over the years in its course of availability and services. With more such organizations cropping up in various verticals, the competition has also reached its highest pace.

This particular research is a collaborative output of students and professors that highlight the evident challenges of religious non-profit organizations in the  backdrop  of declining climate. The research is extremely crucial for experts and scholars to guide these organizations into adopting sustainable changes in support of climate change and also the dynamic and volatile marketplace. This research goes into the workflow of the international Sports Federation as a case study focusing on political, economic, social, environmental, and legal factors that collectively put the organization in a functional course. The direction of the business is directly dependent on these external factors that are always on the verge of dynamic change.

Even though non-profit, these establishments or organizations are always looking to maintain a strong position in the generic market. When sustainability and market growth come in a confluence of easily adaptable changes, the results are astounding. With a planet that is not only undergoing the wrath of climatic disruption, the other key factors of civilization, society, politics, economy, and culture are also in a constant position of alteration. The research concludes the importance of adopting sustainable changes so that both resources and market growth can lead the entire system into a better and maintainable framework.

Stephanie Dirlbeck

Nancy Lopez

Dr. Jack McCann

Dr. Daryl D. Green

The student contributors to this study are Stephanie Dirlbeck, Nancy Lopez, and Sara Lopez. Other professors associated with the research include Associate Professor of College of Business, OBU Dr. Daryl D. Green and Associate Professor in Marketing and Business at Union College in Barbourville, KY, Dr. Jack McCann. This collaboration between professors and students led to bigger prospects of research, career advantages, and the very basis of teamwork.

To view the article, please visit;, while for information about this research or if you would like assistance with your organization, please contact Dr. Daryl Green at 405-585-4414 (

About Paul Dickinson College of Business

The Paul Dickinson College of Business is part of Oklahoma Baptist University. This qualified and Christian-based education is addressed to those who want to pursue a bachelor degree in business. The university provides the skills needed by the business graduates in contemporary professional careers as a leader. The business  degree programs  of the Oklahoma Baptist University are accredited and acknowledged by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.

For more information on the Paul Dickinson College of Business at OBU, visit

OBU Research Stretches to Hip Hop Culture: An Analysis of Beats By Dr. Dre

Oklahoma Baptist University (OBU) sheds light on the influences of Hip Hop icon like Dr. Dre’s BEATS on entrepreneurship in the United States. 

SHAWNEEE, OK, May 15, 2020– Oklahoma Baptist University Dickinson College of Business has recently released new research titled, ‘The Intersection of an Entrepreneurial Mindset and Hip Hop: A Case Study on BEATS by Dre’ under the guidance of Dr. Daryl D. Green and collaborators, Dr. Jack McCann, Arsid Panxhi, and Carly Miller. The study is a relevant examination of one of the most successful popular culture gadget line, BEATS by Dre in the backdrop of marketing and entrepreneurship pursuits.

Caryl Miller and Arsid Panxhi turned a research project in class to published research in academia.

The research article adopts case study analysis on the iconic brand of BEATS by Dre. Beats Electronics has established its legacy as one of the top premium sound equipment lines. With hip-hop as the foundational membrane of the entire marketing line of BEATS by Dre, the study infiltrates its gauge of business-oriented strategy by hitting pop cultural influences at the right spots of audience acceptability in paving the way for an empire of entrepreneurship goals. The case study not only examines the various factors that led to this historic feat but also provides upcoming entrepreneurs from underserved communities with an example of successful business stories.

This collaborative research started in an undergraduate classroom.  Students Carly Miller and Arsid Panxhi initiated this research as a class project at Oklahoma Baptist University (OBU). Currently, Carly Miller is a senior studying Communications with a minor in Business Administration while Arsid Panxhi, an OBU graduate, is an Account Manager at Cuadrant LLC.  Dr. Green and Dr. McCann are seasoned researcher. Dr. Green is an Associate professor in the College of Business at OBU while Dr. McCann currently serves an appointment at Union College in Barbourville, KY, as Associate Professor in Marketing and Business. 

Dr. Jack McCann and Dr. Daryl D. Green have collaborated on research projects to improve society

The study raises three integral questions about the various marketing strategies implemented by Beats Electronics in its story of market success, a strategic correlation in the establishment of another business venture, and the business’ investment breakup. The pattern of audience engagement with a headphone line where consumers live under the maximum influence of pop culture is furthered broadened into perspective and analytical detailing in the study. The findings of the study confluences at maintaining the ‘cool’ stature of the product among consumers. BEATS product insinuates contemporary trends and fashion of the extant market and constantly follows through to modify its designs to keep up the brand legacy. However, the study also points at the potential fall of a company if it fails to improve its product with time and socio-cultural changes. Apart from the visual competency, the study concludes with the importance of maintaining a good and affordable streaming service that would enable BEATS by Dre to continue to expand its brand and customer base.

The results of this research will assist today’s universities in infusing the entrepreneurial spirit in the next generation of business professionals.

For more information about the research, visit:

If you want more information about this research or want assistance with your organization, please contact Dr. Daryl Green at 405-585-4414 (

About Paul Dickinson College of Business

The Paul Dickinson College of Business is part of Oklahoma Baptist University. This qualified and Christian-based education is addressed to those who want to pursue a bachelor degree in business. The university provides the skills needed by the business graduates in contemporary professional careers as a leader. The business degree programs of the Oklahoma Baptist University are accredited and acknowledged by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.

For more information on the Paul Dickinson College of Business at OBU, visits

The Coronavirus Effect: Leadership in a Volatile World

Explore the right kind of leadership in a volatile world.

Lois dedicated herself to her patients. Her patients loved her, and she loved her patients too. She was a Head Nurse in a major hospital. Work was steady. Then, the coronavirus hit. The world was changed. Lois’ nurses were asking her questions. They were asking her leadership questions. There was silence because things were happening so fast. 

Lois only tried to worry about things she could control—care of her patients, as well as the safety of her staff. After 3 months into the pandemic, Lois felt the impacts. Hospitals were consolidated along with employees. Lois found herself working on the 10th floor of another hospital. She had been reduced from a Head Charge Nurse at a major hospital to a Nursing Assistant. Her pay was reduced by 25% and her status to part-time.

As she gave care to her patients in her new situation, she would share her story with some patients to show how things had changed after the coronavirus threat, not for pity. Lois had seen good nurses and doctors laid off during this time.

Lois was happy to have a job, thus feeding her family. That was the coronavirus effect! 

Workers exist in a volatile world. The coronavirus has damaged the economy across the globe – the United States is no exception. Since more than 22 million U.S. workers are filing for unemployment, government officials and business executives attempt to balance public health against economic survival. More layoffs are surely going to occur as the pandemic keep people at home. Yet, the economic pains can be felt across the country. Food lines are growing. A sagging economy persists. In fact, the U.S. has not seen these job losses during the Great Depression. The world is interconnected, thanks to globalization.   

As the U.S. dollar spirals downward, the foreign currency goes upward. China and India have added millions to their labor force, creating products as well as outsourcing their services abroad at a fraction of what American workers can provide. These upstart countries are positioning themselves to become the next Super Power. The U.S. middle class hold their breath as the threat of more job cuts become a reality, thereby further eroding their quality of life. With the coronavirus before us, this article examines the right kind of leadership in a volatile world.

The coronavirus has made its presence known, resulting in disruptive change throughout the globe. According to the World Health Organization, the coronavirus has infected more than 2,000,000 people in at least 177 countries. To date, more than 800,000 Americans have been diagnosed with Covid-19, resulting in over 40,000 deaths. Although New York has been the center of the discussion, every state has been impacted. Unintended consequences continue to happen. While the federal government rolls out a $2 Trillion stimulus package, President Trump and the state governors argue about who’s in control. Big Brother has arrived. The government dictates how private businesses must operate while restricting how citizens gather in the name of public safety. The results of the private infringements have sparked anti-government protests.

There needs to be a different type of leadership in a volatile world. Today’s pandemic, hypercompetitive environment needs high-performance organizations to sustain market success. Yet, many organizations operate from the same business structure from the Industrial Revolution. In this setting, managers oversee workers to control their performance due to the fact that managers believe workers are inferior and have no passion to work. Yet, most workers are willing to work if they are placed in a position to be successful, and there are shared rewards. Yet, I have heard too many complaints about bad bosses and uncaring organizations. There are too many managers and organizations that do not value the importance of their employees. These same managers are great at distributing tasks, but are unsuccessful in motivating their own workers. 

According to a RAND Corporation survey, the nation is not producing enough future leaders with substantive depth in international experience and outlook. In fact, the survey outlines the following top attributes for having a successful career in an international organization in the public environments: (a) general cognitive skills (problem-solving, analytical ability, etc.), (b) interpersonal and relational skills, (c) adaptivity, (d) cross-cultural competency, and (e) the ability to work in teams. 

However, in many businesses, the chore of developing leadership competencies is left to human resource managers. In fact, working in a global environment requires a different skill mix. J. Stewart Black, Allen Morrison, and Hal Gregersen, authors of  Global Explorers, argue that every global leader has a set of global characteristics regardless of his or her country or industry. The four key areas include inquisitiveness, perspective, character, and savvy. Business savvy becomes the word of the day because one must be able to think globally and adjust activities on the local level, as well as satisfying customers at all levels.

Leaders must be visionary so that they provide the organization a vision of what the organization wants to transform itself into in spite of the current situation. Leaders must push the decision making down to the lowest levels and empower employees to perform. Leaders must have integrity and lead by example. Leaders must have a global perspective in understanding that the world is interconnected. 

Leaders must be strategic so that they will look beyond today’s struggles to anticipate threats and seize opportunities. Leaders must know how to inspire and motivate workers to perform. Leaders must value diversity and maximize the most out of their talents. In fact, these competencies promote the necessity for leaders to learn how to work effectively with people who have different languages, customs, and social values. Leaders must make people accountable but share the rewards of the organization’s success. Leaders must learn how to listen and respect their employees so that they can maintain trust throughout the organization. 

In summary, the coronavirus is not leaving our planet any time soon. Societies across the globe will need to make adjustments to the new normal. Therefore, organizations cannot continue to stumble through this global environment. In fact, desperate times should demand immediate actions. With millions of unemployed and outsourcing of high paying jobs abroad, these market trends should get more of anybody’s attention. 

Organizations that want to sustain success in the future can no longer continue in the same mode of operations. This article demonstrated the critical need to select the right kind of leadership in a volatile world. Success will largely depend on their ability to manage their resources, seize strategic opportunities, and inspire their workforce toward greater performance. Let us pray that it is not too late.

Building Strategic Alliances in Choas: Nine Steps for Successful Implementation

Nathan did not see how rural America would survive after September 11th. Before that event, Nathan, as part of his sales job, visited two rural communities in North Louisiana: Minden and Gibsland. Both communities struggled with their lack of a tax base and job opportunities. Many of their bright, young people had left their communities for city life in larger cities in the state and beyond. 

Yet, in 2019, Nathan was astounded at these communities now. There was Minden with a slightly larger population in 2011, still struggling with its economy. And then there was Gibsland with its thriving economy. 

New companies were opening. There were influxes of new residents, especially from the Northern states, coming to live there. Nathan could not resist talking to Gibsland Mayor Becky Pullen about this turnaround.

Mayor Pullen suggests a simple strategy of a collaborative effort. She explains that their community decided to pull together and pool their resources on a shared vision. We identified the strengths of our community, as well as got businesses and non-profits to work together on our vision of being the best catfish spot in the country. 

We worked with the local colleges and K-12 systems to build curriculums around tourism and the fishing industry. Citizens in the community were excited about this strategy. We slowly start seeing the results in 2015. We have never looked back. We had successfully created a strategic alliance for our community. 

In today’s hyercompetitive environment, companies that want to compete in the future understand that the status quo will not do. Accenture Strategy surveyed 1,252 business leaders from diverse industries across the world to better understand the degree to which companies are capturing ecosystem opportunities. 

We discovered that companies are pursuing new business models to navigate, or even lead, disruption. When asked what they would typically do to disrupt their industry, 60 percent of executives said, “build ecosystems.” Nearly half have already built or are currently building an ecosystem to respond to disruption. 

According to Accenture, 76% of business leaders surveyed agree that current business models will be unrecognizable in the next 5 years. Businesses that attempt to move forward against the backdrop of uncertainty and unpredictability with little or no partnerships will find it difficult to be successful. In this discussion, we will focus on how to build strategic alliances in a disruptive world marked by uncertainty and unpredictability.

The coronavirus has had a tremendous impact on our lives as global citizens. Over 152 countries across the globe have been impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19), and over 7,000 people have lost their lives to it according to the World Health Organization (WHO). 

In the United States, there have been more than 5,600 cases of the respiratory virus and 94 deaths. New York has reported some 1,700 cases, while 

Washington state has reported nearly 1,000 cases.  Individuals have been acted to change their behavior, especially the use of social distancing. Many businesses and non-profit organizations have been shut down. The WHO director, Dr. Hans Henri P. Kluge, said: “The lives of millions of people in our region are undergoing radical change. There is quite simply a new reality.” Maintaining the status quo won’t work in a pandemic situation. 

For example, Italy underwent some extreme measures once the coronavirus was there. Over 31,506 cases and 2,500 deaths of COVID-19 have been reported in Italy, the heart of the outbreak in Europe. The government locked down the country and mandated curfews for its citizens. Italy’s new cases are the slowest rate of increases in the country for several weeks. Only when organizations come together collaboratively can meaningful things get accomplished in a global crisis. 

Strategic alliances can help an organization through disruptive changes.  What is a strategic alliance? According to the business dictionary, a strategic alliance is an “agreement for cooperation among two or more independent firms to work together toward common objectives. 

Unlike in a joint venture, firms in a strategic alliance do not form a new entity to further their aims, but collaborate while remaining apart and distinct.” The advantages of a strategic alliance include: (a) sharing resources and expertise, (b) new-market penetration, (c) expanded production, and (d) innovation.

Organizations are able to leverage limited resources and maximize their core competencies to spin-off innovative ideas into tangible actions. The disadvantages include loss of control and increased liabilities. Effective strategic alliances must be built on trust and transparency. In most cases, organizations must surrender their autonomous thinking to collaborative efforts. With strategic alliances, there is a large risk that the outcomes will not be desirable ones. 

Having taken risks in strategic alliances can pay off. For example, one company that has continued to infuse itself with effective strategic alliances is Starbuck, the Seatlle-based business. In 1971, Starbucks started as a single coffee shop in the historic Pike Place Market. The company’s mission is “to inspire and nurture the human spirit—one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time.”

Today, Starbuck is the world largest coffee retailer, with over 19,000 locations in more than 60 countries, selling over 2 billion cups of coffee every year. In 1993, Starbucks partnered with Barnes and Noble bookstores to provide in-house coffee shops; Starbuck built an alliance with United Airlines to serve Starbucks coffee on all its flights; Starbuck made a strategic partnership with Kraft foods, resulting in Starbucks coffee being marketed in grocery stores; and finally, in 2006, Starbucks partnered with Apple to collaborate on selling music as part of its “coffee house” experience.

Rosabeth Kanter, former Chief Editor of Harvard Business Review, and author of the new book Think Outside the Building: How Advanced Leaders Can Change the World One Smart Innovation at a Time, argues, “In rapidly changing environments, compatibility in values, philosophy, and goals are more important than specific features of an immediate business deal. The basis for collaboration must be more enduring, and there must be a foundation for mutual trust to help inevitable weather changes or problems.” 

Jason Wakeam, Director, Operations, Global Alliances, Hewlett-Packard Company, further suggests five critical elements for strategic alliances, which are: (a) Critical to the success of a core business goal or objective; (b) Critical to the development or maintenance of a core competency or other source of competitive advantage; (c) Blocks a competitive threat; (d) Creates or maintains strategic choices for the firm; and (e) Mitigates a significant risk to the business. 

Wakeam maintains, “The essential issue when developing a strategic alliance is to understand which of these criteria the other party views as strategic. If either partner misunderstands the other’s expectation of the alliance, it is likely to fall apart. For example, if one partner believes the other is looking for revenue generation to achieve a core business goal when, in reality, the objective is to keep a strategic option open, the alliance is not likely to survive.”  The following strategic alliance steps are presented:

  • Each organization should have a shared vision.
  • Each organization should bring its strengths (core competencies), but be aware of its weaknesses.    
  • Develop short-term and long-term goals.
  • Seek compatibility in values.
  • Develop measurable outcomes and track results.
  • Put it in writing as a collaborative work, but don’t leave it all to the attorneys.
  • Build on mutual respect.
  • Keep Communication flowing.
  • Have a champion in each organization to serve as liaisons.

As we move forward, there will be an onslaught on crises across the globe. Most large firms with the financial willpower will opt to solo through tragedies alone. Some will succeed in the short-term, while many will fail as history shows.  

In this article, I demonstrated how to build strategic alliances in a disruptive world marked by uncertainty and unpredictability. While the coronavirus poses a challenge for the world, dealing with crises alone is not wise. Organizations that can be collaborative on a shared vision create a culture that can spin off innovation and can ensure sustainable successes. Find the right organizations for effective strategic alliances. Pray that it is not too late.

© 2020 by Daryl D. Green

About Dr. Daryl Green:

Dr. Daryl Green provides consulting, guidance, and management training for today’s business leaders. He is the Dickinson Chair at Oklahoma Baptist University. In 2016, he retired as a Senior Engineer and Program Manager with the Department of Energy after a successful career. Dr. Green has over 25 years of management experience and has been noted and quoted by USA Today, Ebony Magazine, and Associated Press. For more information, please visit

Reaching Diverse Communities Through Social Dancing in Shawnee

How do you bring different parts of a community together in Shawnee? Most larger metropolitan areas have not figured this out. Therefore, Shawnee is no different.

In February, a business professor at Oklahoma Baptist University achieved this goal by offering beginner lessons to all on Bison Hill.

When you start talking about ballroom dancing, everyone thinks about the ABC’s hit show Dancing with the Stars that pairs up celebrities with professional dance partners in an intense ballroom competition. The show features every type of ballroom and modern dance. Many people, especially women, are interested in learning to ballroom dance.

On Saturday, Feb. 8, Dr. Daryl D. Green, OBU Dickinson Chair and associate professor at OBU offered a social dance bootcamp, basic ballroom dancing and Latin dancing, through Gordon Cooper Technology Center. During the day, Dr. Green teaches a variety of business courses and offers free consultations to local businesses and non-profit organizations. Some people call him the dancing doctor. He and his wife Estraletta have several years of social and competitive ballroom dance experience.

The event was a hit. More than 60 people participated in the event that day. It exceeded the expected attendance for that day. People in the area are looking for dancing venues like this event. Dr. Green explains, “I enjoy bringing people together. There are many things that can divide a community like social standing, education, race, politics, and religion. However, music and dance are the most effective mechanisms I have seen to bring diverse people together. I tell my students that diversity is not a melting pot. It’s really Louisiana gumbo. All ingredients matter in good gumbo.”

Dr. Green, a Louisiana native, moved to Oklahoma in 2016 after 27 years of being an engineering manager with the Department of Energy in Tennesse. He loves to support dance education in the community. The first time this event was held at OBU, it attracted over a hundred people. Dr. Green explains the contribution of African-Americans to music and dance. Dr. Green explains, “Like arts in America, ballroom dancing has been influenced heavily by African Culture. Most people don’t understand this point. For example, swing dancing in ballroom studios is very popular. Yet, modern swing came from the Lindy Hop. Lindy took Harlem by storm in the 1920s during the height of the Harlem Renaissance.”

Dr. Green hopes that these types of social events will build community relationships. Dr. Green notes, “Music and dance bring people together regardless of their backgrounds. I am hopeful that we, as a community, can come together to better our community through collaborative efforts. If folks with varying backgrounds and ages can dance together on a dance floor, I don’t understand why people can’t come together to support economic development and improvements in our own community.”

For more information, please contact Dr. Daryl Green at or call him at 405-585-4414.

About Dr. Green:

Dr. Daryl D. Green is a popular and respected researcher and author that has been acknowledged internationally. Dr. Green is now the Dickinson Chair at the Oklahoma Baptist University. He productively writes online blog and column. In addition, his quotes can be easily found in various media outlets in the United States, which include BET, Ebony, Associated Press, and USA Today. Dr. Green decided to retire from his position as a senior program manager in the federal government in 2016. For more than 20 years, Dr. Green has helped both organizations and individuals to make the right decisions through his columns, seminars, and lectures.

Dance Party: Tribute to Black Music in America


Put on your best 70’s attire and join us to dance the night away!

Dr. Daryl Green presents the 70’s, 80’s & ‘More’ Dance Party: A Tribute to Black Music in America. Join us on Friday, February 21, 2020, from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm at the Geiger Center Ballroom, OBU. Entry is FREE! Donations are requested to support the African American Scholarships in Business College.

This event will feature:

  • OBU Big Horn Band
  • Group Dance Lessons – Swing & Hustle
  • Prizes
  • 70’s Costume Theme

For more information, please contact Dr. Green at

2020 Black History Month Program


86259992_3060753330622664_6247529303584538624_oJoin us to enjoy the 2020 Black History Month Program sponsored by the Dickinson College of Business. This dynamic event will take place on Monday, February 24, 2020 at 10am at Oklahoma Baptist University

Our speaker of the hour will be Andre Head, President of The Coltrane Group. He will be speaking on the topic: Black Wall Street and Black Towns: Economic Development in Black Communities

Do You Enjoy Your Job in 2020? Mapping Out Life After Retirement

“In my early 40s, I started thinking about retiring early. I sat through my organization’s mid-career retirement classes and had gotten several retirement estimates (i.e., different retirement years). I had kept myself marketable by continuing to take advantage of career opportunities and obtaining additional education in my professional field. Some co-workers mocked me because they said any scholarly education would not advance my career. 

Yet, I felt that professional growth and a continual learning mindset would only increase my value in the market. I had developed an exit strategy. Working with my friend (Dr. Gary Roberts), I had mapped out a future purpose in academia. However, things did not work out as planned. In fact, it took 9 years and more than 200 job applications for the exit strategy to work. Having an exit strategy was invaluable!”

Are you happy with your current job? Are you working in a job and the environment that you hate and bring you hate? If so, let 2020 be different. In general, US employees are satisfied with their work-life. According to a 2016 Pew Research Center study, about half (49%) of American workers say they are very satisfied with their current job. 

Yet, 30% of them are somewhat satisfied, and the remainder says they are slightly dissatisfied (9%) or very dissatisfied (6%). When individuals are not happy at work, this mindset impacts other aspects of their lives. When I wrote my own ‘soul searching’ book, Mapping Out Life After Retirement, I hope to assist prospective and current retirees on how to have a more fulfilled life. This article discusses how individuals can retire early with the right kind of strategy.

Retiring early is a difficult task in today’s financial requirements for living. In 2016, I retired from my career of 27 years at the age of 50 years old. To retire early is indeed a blessing from God. However, I had planned my exit strategy for several years. Yet, millions of Boomers may not be physically and mentally ready for retirement savings today to retire. In the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) survey, “Boomers Expectations for Retirement 2016, there are some startling statistics that will clarify some of the challenges for a Baby Boomer retirement:

  • The percentage of Baby Boomers who are satisfied with how their lives are going from an economic perspective has fallen to 43%, which is the lowest level since 2011.
  • Boomers are less confident than they were five years ago about almost every aspect of retirement.
  • Among the 55% of Boomers with retirement savings, 58% have saved $100,000 or more for retirement. When Boomers work with financial advisors, this increases to 78%.
  • Only one in four Boomers expect significant income from an employer-provided pension.
  • One in five Boomers are worried they will not have enough savings for necessary expenses.

Some individuals do not want to sit at home after retirement. Other people want to explore their vocation. To these people, I will provide a new term for them; ‘rebooting.’ In the computer/software world, rebooting is a normal function, unlike retiring. Rebooting is defined as “starting a computer a second or a third time, often necessary after a system crash or malfunction.” 

In the career planning space, I define rebooting ‘as an individual who has retired and decided to continue working. In this line of thinking, an individual may move away from his/her past career path and pivot to a totally different occupation of vocation. This situation is feasible. Most individuals, especially Boomers or GenXers, are in careers that they hate only because of the necessity of income.  

As the statistics have shown, there are many reasons why many folks will not retire anytime soon due to the current economic conditions and their lack of serious planning. In this case, retiring early will take a different strategy to be successful. Thus, sitting down and mapping out a personal exit strategy for retirement is critical. Based on my exit strategy that I utilized in my retirement, below are some simple suggestions for developing your exit strategy for retirement:

  1. Talk with retirees about the pros and cons of retirement. 
  2. Establish objectives/goals for retirement.
  3. Pick a realistic date for retirement.
  4. Evaluate current financial and lifestyle situation.
  5. Research materials on retirement.
  6. Take company/organization-sponsored retirement courses.
  7. Talk with several financial planners about your personal goals.
  8. Come up with a magical number that makes retirement possible.
  9. Talk with trusted family and friends about exit strategy on retirement. 
  10. Surround yourself with individuals who will support your decision, but are willing to give you honest, candid feedback. 
  11. Develop and implement your exit strategy once developed.
  12. Know your worth in the market (especially in job hunting).
  13. Be happy and content with your decision! I’ve met people who habitually second-guess themselves in every decision that they make.

Without a good exit strategy, retiring early will be a fairy tale and not a reality for many people.

This article showed how individuals can retire early with the right kind of strategy. Some working professionals rely on the fact that they have significant incomes. Yet, they live miserable lives in the process. Thus, these individuals dream about retirement as a way of living a more filled life. What is holding you back in your retirement plans? Let’s get started!

© 2020 by Dr. Daryl D. Green

About Dr. Daryl Green:

Dr. Daryl Green provides consulting, guidance, and management training for today’s business leaders. He is the Dickinson Chair at Oklahoma Baptist University. In 2016, he retired as a Senior Engineer and Program Manager with the Department of Energy after a successful career. He is the author of Mapping Out Life After Retirement. Dr. Green has over 25 years of management experience and has been noted and quoted by USA Today, Ebony Magazine, and Associated Press. For more information, please visit

5 Leadership Lessons from My Mother’s Death: Empowering Followers to Succeed

“Our 82-year-old mother was gone. It was a startling surprise to her three adult children. We each have a special relationship with her; we simply called her ‘Mama!’ Now, we were challenged with the tasks of planning our mother’s funeral services. We had never worked together entirely on any single project. Mama was always the senior project manager giving  instruction to us as children: Gail – fix your sister’s hair, Daryl – go find your father, Lottie – practice your piano, and Mary – allow your sister to do your hair. Yet, at this moment, no commands were being given by Mama. We were solo pilots now. Mama anticipated there were going to be disagreements, as we started a debate about one of the sticking points of our mother’s funeral arrangements at Lester’s home. Lester went into the back room and gave us a hand-written letter from Mama dated a few days before her death.  We were stunned. The letter carefully addressed our disagreement. Since it was clear what Mama’s expectations were on this matter, we stopped the argument and started implementing our mother’s wishes. She had managed to lead us through this problem. Mama had given us another leadership lesson.”

In today’s hectic environment, many executives and business professionals are so overwhelmed by demanding shareholders, boards, and customers that they forget about the lessons from everyday life. In December, I lost my mother – Annette Green Elias. Although it was painful to see her leave Planet Earth, I was encouraged when I reflected on my mother’s legacy and what she and my father had taught us. My mother was a good example of how to model the behavior you desire in your family. This quality is also true for organizations. James Kouzes and Barry Posner, authors of The Leadership Challenge, outline the critical nature of leadership modeling: “When it comes to deciding whether a leader is believable, people first listen to the words; then they watch the actions. They listen to the talk and watch the walk. Then, they measure the congruence… Actions, then, are the evidence of a leader’s commitment.” If you are going to be an effective leader, you must model the way. Followers will not respect just lip service. Our mother was a good example of leading us to her vision. This article examines five leadership lessons learned from my mother’s death.

Leadership is a quality that doesn’t change over time or through generations. There are many definitions of leadership. However, one simple definition of leadership is: “the art of motivating a group of people to act towards achieving a common goal.” My mother was part of ‘The Greatest Generation’ – those individuals who were born from 1910 to 1945. Individuals born during this time suffered through the Great Depression and World War II. There aren’t many of these people left. Over 1,000 war veterans are passing away per day. Like my mother, these individuals born at that time can be described by the following characteristics: dedicated, hardworking, loyal, close to family, love of God. Within this generation, there were distinct roles. The father was the provider and protector of the family. From my father, I learned the importance of hard work and keeping your word. The mother was the nourisher and caregiver of the family. Since my mother had to work to ‘make ends meet’ financially, I learned how to empathize and give to the needs of others. My mother always stated, “I know all my kids and what they are capable of doing.” With that said, my mother saw something else in me that led her to give me tasks that would further develop me as a leader. She was a Proverb 31 woman who garnishes respect in the community. Dr. Peter Northouse, the author of Leadership, notes, “From this perspective, leadership emergence is the degree to which a person fits with the identity of the group as a whole or they become most like the group prototype. Being similar to the prototype makes leaders attractive to the group and gives them influence with this group. If you are a leader and your followers are not engaged, what are you really doing as a leader? Leadership matters!

During the funeral arrangement process with my siblings, Lottie and Mary, I reflected on how my mother had shaped us as children to become responsible adults today. Mother definitely helped shape me as a leader. As we come to the close of another year, there are some invaluable leadership lessons discovered during my mother’s passing:

  • HAVE A FAITH – In 2018, our mother had a brain aneurysm, fell, and broke her pelvis. Lying in the hospital, our mother was depressed, anxious, and in despair. Doctors thought she might never walk, but she did. At 82 years old, she was working, driving, and traveling in 2019. Leaders will eventually run across situations where they are powerless and hopeless. A strong faith will sustain a leader.  
  • KNOW YOUR FOLLOWERS – My mother routinely told us: “I know all my kids and what they are capable of doing.” She recognized that each of her children were different. While one child might need encouragement, another child might need tough love to help them navigate. Likewise, leaders need to understand their employees in order to get the best out of them.
  • BUILD AN ORGANIZATION THAT THIRST FOR LEARNING – Learning was part of the family dynamics and an unwritten expectation. My mother went back to college in her late 60s to encourage her grandchildren to seek higher learning beyond high school. She instilled a need for learning. Effective organizations need to create this desire.
  • STAND UP FOR YOURSELF – When we were growing up, our mother told us this before going to school: “If someone HIT you, you…. HIT THEM BACK.” OK! This mandate got us into trouble… sometimes. Yet, what my mother taught us was more than picking a fist fight. You must stand up to the principles that you believe. In the business world, there are times when a leader must stand by himself or herself.

Because of the problems that families were having after the death of a loved one, we tried to convince our mother to have a will so that everyone would understand her wishes. Our mother would not listen. She said, “I have raised you all the right way; you should be able to figure it out.” She never did write that Will. But—Mama had her own plan. She left her instructions in a manilla envelope addressed to her children. She had left her children with no debt, had a prepaid funeral arrangement, written her funeral program, and left us a letter describing her wishes. We, the children, were all shocked. Mother had managed to implement her own plan. Likewise, leaders need to have a plan. Yet, the plan does not have to be like other leaders. Create a unique plan for your situation.

In closing, good life lessons are invaluable to leadership development. Perhaps, you are also lamenting the loss of your mother or a loved one this year. My mother is gone now, but she left a legacy of meaningful leadership lessons. She had a clear vision of leadership. To mother, leader’s vision was an action word. Dr. Jimmy Atkins, the author of Leading Strategic Community Change, suggests the power of vision: “The vision must go beyond lofty dreams and be put into action… Leaders must bring the vision to life by rolling up their sleeves and participating with everyone else.” My mother breathed the leadership qualities into me. This article demonstrated that there are leadership lessons that today’s organizations can learn from others especially mothers. Both leaders and followers can use this time of reflection to seek to learn from what you learned from your mother. 

Let’s pray that it is not too late.


© 2019 by Daryl D. Green

About Dr. Daryl Green:

Dr. Daryl Green provides consulting, guidance, and management training for today’s business leaders. He is the Dickinson Chair at Oklahoma Baptist University. In 2016, he retired as a senior engineer and program manager with the Department of Energy after a successful career. Dr. Green has over 25 years of management experience and has been noted and quoted by USA Today, Ebony Magazine, and Associated Press. For more information, please visit