In today’s ever-changing business environment, employers list leadership as one of the most desirable skills for a potential employee. Dr. Mark Mendenhall, who holds the J. Burton Frierson Chair of Excellence in Business Leadership at the UTC College of Business, is an internationally recognized scholar in the field of international human resource management. His areas of expertise are in the areas of global leadership development and assessment, and the cross-cultural adjustment of expatriates. He has consulted with, and conducted numerous training programs for global companies, including IBM-Asia Pacific, NASA, and Boeing.
When asked about the biggest challenge people are facing in leadership today, Mendenhall responded, “For leaders, it is leading in an environment of ever-changing complexity. The best leaders realize that they don’t know enough by themselves to successfully lead an organization, so they actively focus on trying to extract the wisdom and creativity from their employees across all organizational levels and to operationalize that knowledge into the organization.”
Mendenhall also offers advice for students:
“Be a continual learner. Become your own professor after you graduate. Follow the advice of Peter Drucker:
1) Master a discipline outside your profession,
2) Read extensively in and outside your primary specialty, and
3) Write about what you think about and discuss with others – share your wisdom beyond your close circle of friends.”
A firm believer in applying findings from the research literature to organizations, Dr. Mendenhall actively consults organizations in the areas of global leadership and general leadership. He is a partner in The Kozai Group, a consultancy that specializes in global leadership identification, assessment, and development. Some of the firms he has worked with, both internationally and locally, include Volkswagen, IBM-Asia Pacific, General Motors, IBM-Japan, Japan Airlines Corporate Academy, The Dixie Group, Tennessee Valley Authority, Blue-Cross Blue-Shield of Tennessee, CBL, Leadership Chattanooga, Louisiana Pacific, Molex, Monsanto, and Premier Health. He has also presented numerous training seminars on leadership and other management-related issues for many organizations over the span of three decades. Dr. Mendenhall is past president of the International Management Division of the Academy of Management and a Fellow of the International Academy for Intercultural Research. He has traveled widely and has lived overseas for nine years (New Zealand, Japan, Switzerland, and Germany).
Mendenhall earned a B.S. in Psychology and a PhD in Social/Organizational Psychology from Brigham Young University. Some career highlights include serving as the Past President of the International Management Division of the Academy of Management; serving as a Fellow for the International Academy for Intercultural Research; Endowed Chair of the J. Burton Frierson Chair of Excellence in Business Leadership (UTC); and Endowed Chair of Ludwig Erhard Stiftungsprofessur, Stiftung Internationale Unternehmensfuhrung, Unviersity of Bayreuth (Germany).