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David Goggins
Former Navy Seal
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Bryan Cranston
Actor
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Liv Boeree
International Poker Champion
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Amaryllis Fox
Former CIA Clandestine Operative
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Chris Hadfield
Retired Canadian Astronaut & Author
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Advice for Harvard Business School’s Next Leader

Question: What advice do you have for your successor at HBS?

Jay Light: One is the need for focus.  There is an enormous number of dimensions in which one could try to take an organization like this in the modern world and it is important to decide which of those are the most important and to really try to focus these organization on those rather than trying to do 42 different things at the same time, so I think focus is really key.  Also, I think one has to really pay attention to what I might call the people realities of trying to get an organization like a university to move in new and different directions.  I think our ability to attract outstanding students is assured.  What is less   assured is how do we build and maintain and develop and change a faculty and staff, a set of people who can provide the different ways of thinking about education and providing education?  That is the people side of things that always turns out to be the hardest part of things in almost everything one does in life, but it’s particularly true in a university where in fact the faculty and staff are very independent and should be independent and we want them to be independent, but at the same time they’re all doing their own thing if you will.  We have to figure out a way to make their own thing, what they really want to do with their lives correspond to the same strategic directions that the leader would like to lead.  That is an enormous challenge and one that every dean and every university president has to take on.  

Question:
What have you learned in your role as dean?

Jay Light: what I have tried to do is develop this organization and to lead it through what has been frankly a somewhat difficult period with the financial and economic crisis and leave it positioned so that there are a number of decisions that can be made here to lead pretty strongly in new and different directions on issues like leadership, on issues like becoming a more global educational institution and I think we are in fact well equipped to do that.  I think we’ve got a sound financial situation.  I think we know what the alternatives are.  I think we have in place some people management systems that will allow us to grow and build the faculty, so what I’ve tried to do is bring it through what has been frankly a difficult period into a period where we in fact have once again resumed thinking about this organization as a growth organization going forward.

Recorded May 19, 2010
Interviewed by Jessica Liebman

Why the new dean, Nitin Nohria, needs to stay focused on the "people realities" of the job.

The “new normal” paradox: What COVID-19 has revealed about higher education

Higher education faces challenges that are unlike any other industry. What path will ASU, and universities like ASU, take in a post-COVID world?

Photo: Luis Robayo/AFP via Getty Images
Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
  • Everywhere you turn, the idea that coronavirus has brought on a "new normal" is present and true. But for higher education, COVID-19 exposes a long list of pernicious old problems more than it presents new problems.
  • It was widely known, yet ignored, that digital instruction must be embraced. When combined with traditional, in-person teaching, it can enhance student learning outcomes at scale.
  • COVID-19 has forced institutions to understand that far too many higher education outcomes are determined by a student's family income, and in the context of COVID-19 this means that lower-income students, first-generation students and students of color will be disproportionately afflicted.
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The biology of aliens: How much do we know?

Hollywood has created an idea of aliens that doesn't match the science.

Videos
  • Ask someone what they think aliens look like and you'll probably get a description heavily informed by films and pop culture. The existence of life beyond our planet has yet to be confirmed, but there are clues as to the biology of extraterrestrials in science.
  • "Don't give them claws," says biologist E.O. Wilson. "Claws are for carnivores and you've got to be an omnivore to be an E.T. There just isn't enough energy available in the next trophic level down to maintain big populations and stable populations that can evolve civilization."
  • In this compilation, Wilson, theoretical physicist Michio Kaku, Bill Nye, and evolutionary biologist Jonathan B. Losos explain why aliens don't look like us and why Hollywood depictions are mostly inaccurate.
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Live on Tuesday | Personal finance in the COVID-19 era

Sallie Krawcheck and Bob Kulhan will be talking money, jobs, and how the pandemic will disproportionally affect women's finances.

Masturbation boosts your immune system, helping you fight off infection and illness

Can an orgasm a day really keep the doctor away?

Image by Yurchanka Siarhei on Shutterstock
Sex & Relationships
  • Achieving orgasm through masturbation provides a rush of feel-good hormones (such as dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin) and can re-balance our levels of cortisol (a stress-inducing hormone). This helps our immune system function at a higher level.
  • The surge in "feel-good" hormones also promotes a more relaxed and calm state of being, making it easier to achieve restful sleep, which is a critical part in maintaining a high-functioning immune system.
  • Just as bad habits can slow your immune system, positive habits (such as a healthy sleep schedule and active sex life) can help boost your immune system which can prevent you from becoming sick.
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How DNA revealed the woolly mammoth's fate – and what it teaches us today

Scientists uncovered the secrets of what drove some of the world's last remaining woolly mammoths to extinction.

Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Surprising Science

Every summer, children on the Alaskan island of St Paul cool down in Lake Hill, a crater lake in an extinct volcano – unaware of the mysteries that lie beneath.

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