5 Things I've Learned

Monday, May 23, 2016

Audrey Klein is executive director of the Butler Center for Research at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation (HBFF) headquartered in Center City, Minnesota. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Kenyon College and her PhD in experimental psychology from Case Western Reserve University. Currently, she is in her second year in the Carlson Executive MBA program.

At HBFF, she oversees key data operations, including collection, analysis, and reporting of patient outcomes and satisfaction. Her team is primarily responsible for using enterprise data assets to demonstrate the value of the foundation’s products and services. Here, she shares five nuggets of wisdom she has gleaned over the years.

Overt behaviors often obscure what a person really things or feels about a situation.

Focusing only on a person’s actions leads to misleading conclusions. In business, this can mean leaving money on the table. To create value, you need to understand motives and underlying drives.

Business is a lot like science.

From forming and testing hypotheses, collecting and interpreting data, and applying results to decisions, the two are more similar than I thought prior to going to business school.

Everyone is good at something—and most people are good at many things.

Really strong leaders take the time to discover where the talent is—and continuously create ways for people to recognize and use those talents.

Always get the cash!

Carlson School Finance Senior Lecturer Rick Nelson and economist Milton Friedman said it best: the key to being successful in business is to make a profit. This means asking for the money—whether it be from customers or investors. If you aren’t willing to ask for it, you won’t get it.

Highly impactful people walk through fear and self-doubt.

A guy I worked with in New Orleans saved his grandmother from drowning during Hurricane Katrina. He found a child’s swimming pool, rowed it over to her roof, and rowed for hours to bring her to safety. Bold moves can create amazing results. Go to those who execute on the idea most effectively.