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Business Observer Thursday, Jul. 16, 2020 2 years ago

Business school aims to provide leadership lessons for 'new normal'

The University of Tampa will host a free series of leadership programs for business owners and managers.

Even the most successful leaders need help sometimes — especially when faced with a crisis like COVID-19. The “new normal” has fundamentally altered the business environment for many companies, perhaps for good. 

Cognizant of the changes being thrust upon business owners and managers, the University of Tampa’s Sykes College of Business has created a free, seven-week series of programs called “Leading in the New Normal." It's designed to offer pandemic-related guidance for leaders. 

The series will begin July 22 — via Zoom, of course — with a session led by UT professors and TECO Energy executives Bella Galperin and Stephanie Thomason.

Frank Ghannadian, dean of the Sykes College of Business, says the idea for the series originated in conversations he had with local business leaders and members of the school’s advisory board. 

“Our members are saying, ‘You know, it's hard to work from home,’” Ghannadian tells Coffee Talk. “‘I'm used to the office. I'm used to having everybody around me and it's hard to control.’ So we thought about that and said, ‘We have some people that are experts in this area. Let's see if we can utilize them.’” 

The noon-1 p.m. sessions will cover topics such as employee motivation and engagement, marketing, financial performance and risk, the future of the global economy and resilient leadership. About 40 minutes will be allotted for the presenters and the remaining time for a Q&A session, Ghannadian says. 

Guest speakers include Gena Cox, an executive with IBM Talent Management Solutions, and Rod Buchen, CEO of the Buchen Group, a Dallas-based leadership development firm. The sessions are intended for a general audience and won’t be industry-specific, says Ghannadian. 

“People will not be shocked with a lot of academic mumbo-jumbo,” he says. “The beauty of this series is that regardless of where you're coming from, what your background is, or where you are in your organization, you'll be able to take away something and apply it.” 

To register for "Leading in the New Normal," visit 


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