Cultivating Exemplary Leadership Part Two

The following excerpt is derived from the forthcoming manuscript, “Lead Me Out to the Ballgame:  Stories and Strategies to Develop Major League Leadership,” which is being written by Dr. Howard Fero and his colleague, Dr. Rebecca Herman.  The work is based on more than 100 interviews, conducted with current and former Major League Baseball players and managers. To follow their progress, their research, and to discuss baseball and leadership, please ‘like’ their Facebook page.

“I don’t care how long you’ve been in this game or what kind of success you’ve had in this game; every day you have to gain their trust, and every day you have to gain their respect.”

Davey Johnson, as Manager of the Washington Nationals


Respect … it is hard to hear or read that word without a vision of Aretha Franklin belting it out; it is something that we all seem to crave and sometimes wonder if we will ever earn enough of it.  As Aretha said, we need to “find out what it means to me,” and to us, even more significant, is finding out what it means to the organization or team as a whole.  How does a manager having the respect of his players impact their commitment and play?  How does a player having the respect of his manager impact the team?  And how does respecting your organization impact the work that you do?  Rodney Dangerfield spent his career proclaiming, “I get no respect,” and as you read ahead, think about the respect you get, the respect you give, and the impact it has on the players in your life.


There is a basic notion when discussing leadership that people follow others who have power. This concept, however, needs a little explanation in that power does not and should not come from a people’s positions alone, but should come from who they are and what they do. The power should come from the person, not the position.  It’s true, as Ned Yost, manager of the KC Royals pointed out, “when you become a manager, right off the bat you garner respect because you’re a manager.”  This is the positional power we mentioned above, and a power that many people throughout the world rely upon.  This type of power, however, only goes so far.  As Yost continues, “you’ve got to earn that ‘respect’ every single day.”  We may get a person’s respect from our position initially, but we will either keep it or lose it depending on our actions once we are there. Following a leader or a manager solely because one is in charge will take us far enough to avoid getting reprimanded or far enough to do a good job.  Following people because we respect them and what they stand for will bring us to levels of performance that will lead to greater personal and in turn greater organizational success.


What’s important to point out in regard to respecting the manager (or for that matter, respecting the players, the team, or the game in general) is that the first step in cultivating a culture of respect is putting together a team comprised of people with not only the ability to hit a ball, make a play, or throw strikes, but a team of people with a moral compass, a team of people who have drive and character, a team of people who want to be there and will do what is necessary to support the team as a whole. Talent is important, but fit is vital.  We as leaders need to, as Jim Collins points out, “start by getting the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats” (Collins, 2001).


The task of cultivating the respect of his players, as a Major League manager must do, is not any different from earning the respect of an employee or a colleague in any organization, so how does one do this? Well, to borrow a line from the Smith Barney commercials and John Houseman from the 1980s, “he earns it!”  Sean Burroughs, who we spoke to when he was a member of the Minnesota Twins, pointed to honesty and openness as two of the things which lead him to respecting his managers. A manager needs to be honest with his players about their position on the team, what is expected to them, and what they need to do to succeed.  They need to be “true to their word, and true to what they preach.”  As infielder Eric Hosner of the Kansas City Royals told us, “the players notice that, and then ‘they’ gain a lot more respect.”


Having respect for the manager, having a manager who respects his or her people, having respect for the organization you work for, and having a respect for what you as an individual are doing…these ingredients together are what will bring out the best from the individual and in turn from the organization as a whole.  A culture of respect will lead to success on and off the field, in and out of the workplace, and with all those who see the individual and who he or she represents.


Dr. Howard Fero with Washington Nationals Manager Davey Johnson.

Howard C. Fero, Ph.D.
The Leadership Doc
Director, Graduate Leadership Programs
Associate Professor of Business and Leadership
Albertus Magnus College

Dr. Huntitled2oward Fero, is an Associate Professor of Business and Leadership and the Director of Graduate Leadership programs at Albertus Magnus College. When not teaching classes and overseeing the Leadership programs at Albertus Dr. Fero uses his expertise to help individuals and organizations achieve optimal performance and effectiveness as The Leadership Doc. Dr. Fero will be blogging about different leadership topics throughout the year and speaks about these topics in his classes in the Master of and Arts in Leadership Master of Science in Management and Organizational Leadership Programs. He welcomes your comments and looks forward to communicating with you in our exciting new blog.

Dr. Patty Compagnone-Post: Science Research in Liverpool

Scientific research is a quest of discovery, culminating in the dissemination of new knowledge following what can be an intensive peer-review process.  Understandably, the focus of experimental research is to acquire a sufficient body of information that provides a “story” worthy of publication; in major research institutions the catch-all phrase is “publish or perish”.

What drew me to research in the biological sciences, however, was not only the giddy excitement I felt when an experiment yielded [positive] results but the opportunity I had to meet and interact with such interesting and stimulating people.  In 2011, I had the thrilling experience of spending my sabbatical at the University of Liverpool in England, conducting research on repair of chemically damaged Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA).

I returned to Liverpool in June to continue my research, and as I prepared for my trip, I found myself reflecting on how important comrade and cooperativeness are in my overseas research experience.  In fact, these two factors have played a crucial role in the exuberance I generally feel for science, as both a researcher and educator.

My first day in Liverpool, England, seriously jet-lagged and in the company of only my two high school age daughters and about ten rather large pieces of luggage, was undoubtedly mind-boggling.  Although I had never formally met the two faculty members hosting me for my sabbatical, Lesley Iwanejko and Andy Bates, Lesley greeted me and my daughter at the hotel with her small flat-bed truck to help transport our belongings to our new home.  She was instrumental in acclimating us to our residence (who would have known that a boiler could be tucked behind a kitchen cabinet!), the public transportation system, shopping options, and more than I have time and space to detail.

The success of my sabbatical research was only possible because of the assistance and advice of a diverse group of individuals from more than five different university departments – a Radiation Safety officer who found me a twenty-year-old power supply to run my gels; a diligent graduate student who taught me how to operate a $3 million dollar piece of equipment; lab mangers who made sure I had any needed chemicals and supplies, to name but a few.  It certainly “takes a village” for some things to happen and, to coin a term from Andy Bates, the “intangibles” of some experiences can far out-weigh the concrete results.

Patty Compagnone Post2Dr. Patricia Compagnone-Post, an Associate Professor of Biology, joined the Albertus Magnus College faculty in 2003.   She was appointed an Honorary Senior Lecturer at the University of Liverpool in 2011.  The Connecticut Technology Council selected Dr. Compagnone-Post a Woman of Innovation Finalist in 2009 for her contributions to the field of academic innovation and leadership.  Prior to joining the Albertus faculty she had been a research scientist at the Yale University School of Medicine.

Dr. Compagnone-Post received a B.S. degree, magna cum laude, in chemistry from Emmanuel College, a M.S. degree in molecular biology from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Pittsburgh.

AUGUST 2013 – Dr. Compagnone-Post will follow-up with part-two of her blog sharing more about her experiences and research in Liverpool, England.

Accelerated Degree Programs for Adults

Many working adults, who did not complete college, realize later in life that having a college degree can make a big difference in their future, helping them to move along their career track and find greater success.  Reaching educational goals after taking a break from more traditional college life doesn’t have to be unattainable amidst responsibilities of working and raising a family.  The dream of having a college degree or advancing to a higher degree can indeed be realized, and accelerated degree programs can help students make their dreams a reality.

Albertus Magnus College has led the delivery of quality, accelerated degree programs for working adults in Connecticut since 1985. Our programs offer the most comprehensive, flexible, convenient, and affordable educational opportunities for adults available anywhere in the state.

Students in our accelerated degree programs can earn an undergraduate or graduate degree in a format that best fits their busy schedule and responsibilities in life.  Formats include our New Dimensions program which is cohort based, begins anytime throughout the year when a cohort of 14 students is admitted into a particular program, and follows a preset sequence of courses in which students complete one-course-at-a-time for the duration of their program. Courses are typically 5-6 weeks long and meet on the same night of the week over the duration of the program. Our other accelerated degree format at the College is modular, and that allows students to choose up to two or more courses during each 8-week module that runs over a typical semester.

Accelerated undergraduate and graduate programs are offered either fully online, in a blended (hybrid) format which is a combination of on-ground and online delivery, or on-ground in a classroom.

So, what are some of the benefits of an accelerated degree program?

Because accelerated courses at Albertus allow for earlier program completion, students can realize their educational goals quickly without taking them away from their jobs or family commitments.  One of the most important benefits in the New Dimensions program is our one-course-at-a-time accelerated format which offers students a status as a full-time student, and eligible for financial aid if they qualify.  This is a very convenient benefit, and concentrating on one course at a time is an effective approach for adults returning to college.

Accelerated degree programs enable academically qualified students to earn both a bachelor’s and an advanced degree — graduating sooner than they would in traditional programs.

Our accelerated degree programs cover a wide range of online and on ground degrees, from sociology, psychology and criminal justice to education, business and management, art therapy or organizational leadership.  Our programs are located in New Haven, East Hartford, Norwich, Bridgeport, Bristol and Enfield.

In Albertus accelerated degree programs, students learn from academically qualified professionals with real-world experience, which means that they can apply what they learn immediately in their jobs and life.  Students build upon a strong foundation in the liberal arts, giving thoughtful attention to the ethical issues which arise in the workplace and in life.

Innovative approaches to adult learning and personalized classroom attention. That is a hallmark of the accelerated degree programs at Albertus Magnus College.


Dr. Irene Rios served at Albertus Magnus College from 2009 to 2013. A graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology with a baccalaureate degree in business administration and a master’s degree in curriculum development and instructional design, she received her doctorate from the University of Hartford where her research focused on academic advising in higher education. She is the 2008 recipient of the annual dissertation research award recognized by the National Academic Advising Association.

An extensive career in higher education includes holding leadership positions at a variety of institutions including Rochester Institute of Technology, Saint Joseph College, and Springfield College. Additionally, Dr. Rios has served as a professor in business management, education, and student development programs at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels at Springfield College and the University of Hartford.