Wayne Roberts ’85 is driven and motivated to help others. His fascination with the unique strengths and skills of each person is the cornerstone of his leadership approach and something he leverages extensively to put people in roles and opportunities that best leverage their abilities, interests and strengths. This focus on understanding the individual has defined Roberts as a coach and leader.Wayne Roberts Roberts told a group of Business Honors students at Mays Business School recently that you must truly know and manage yourself before successfully managing others. According to Gallup’s StrengthsFinder Assessment, “Individualization” is consistently his top strength. “When you get to the point of understanding your strengths and how you’re wired, you then get comfortable with yourself and how to leverage your own strengths,” he said. “Coaching others is when it really gets fun and rewarding.”

Roberts is chief operating officer at Accruent, an Austin-based company that provides real estate management software and services.

He shared specific recommendations with students to put into practice communication, meeting, coaching and leadership practices. For example, he shared the company meeting cadence, which is derived from Patrick Lencione’s Death by Meeting. He holds weekly tactical team meetings with his direct reports, monthly strategic full-day meetings, quarterly off-site meetings and ad hoc strategic meetings when needed. Each of the meetings has a specific agenda, purpose, cadence and attendance.

But where Roberts believes everyone gets the most benefit is in weekly one-on-one meetings with each employee. “Each of my one-on-ones are different. I tailor them to the individual, which is another example of playing to my strengths,” he said. “We get more done in that one hour together every week than in any other setting.”

Among the many lessons learned and recommendations Roberts shared with the group is the notion of “FOUR” – an acronym he created that summarizes what he has observed that defines those most successful in the business world. “The F in FOUR stands for Failure. Those that aren’t afraid to fail, who stretch themselves, get out of their comfort zone, fail smartly and then learn from those failures are the ones that succeed long term.”

Similarly, being “Outcome oriented (“O”) rather than immersed in the tasks and processes means you never lose sight of the ultimate objective and can see the forest for the trees. Those that are big picture oriented and long term greedy are more successful than those that maximize short terms results.” Not surprisingly, Roberts believes that true Level 5 leaders are also Unselfish (“U”).

Resiliency (“R”) is another common trait of the successful people Roberts has known. “Their grit, determination, iron will and work ethic is remarkable and sets them apart,” Roberts said.

While not the only factors, Roberts shared with students that FOUR seems correlated to success in his experience.  “It’s the old adage – common sense, uncommonly practiced.”

The students who heard Roberts speak at Mays said they were impressed with his humility and insistence on getting to know his employees. “I want to be able to apply his ideas to my career down the road if I am ever a manager, and I hope to be able to stay as humble and patient as Mr. Roberts seems to be,” said Caitlin Smith ’17, a Business Honors and supply chain major.

Sam Richter ’16, an accounting and Business Honors major, said he was interested to learn how a relationship-oriented leader operates in a workplace. “Over my four years in college I have discovered that I am a relationship-based leader, so it was an amazing experience getting to see what that practically looked like in the workplace,” he said.

Business Honors and finance major Conrad Shillings ’16 described Roberts as a “very friendly and outgoing man, with a lot of wisdom and care for us.” He recalled one of the specific lessons Roberts shared with the group. “My favorite takeaway was the F in FOUR, the failure,” Shillings said. “He said to embrace and welcome failure, because we learn the most from our failures and only grow stronger.”




Categories: Alumni, Business Honors, Executive Speakers, Former Students, Mays Business, News, Students, Texas A&M

In July 2015, Dean Eli Jones named Wendy R. Boswell as the head of the Department of Management, succeeding Ricky Griffin who served from 2011 to 2014, and Duane Ireland, who was interim department head for a year after Griffin became interim dean. Boswell is a powerhouse among researchers, particularly in the field of human resource management. Her scholarship that is concerned with employee attraction and retention, job search behavior and the work/non-work interface has appeared in various scholarly and practitioner journals.


Boswell was recruited to Texas A&M University in 2000 as an assistant professor at Mays Business School after she earned her Ph.D. from the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University. She was an assistant professor until being promoted in 2005 to associate professor and appointed as director of the Center for Human Resource Management. She has held the Jerry and Kay Cox Endowed Chair in Business at Mays since 2013.

She serves on the editorial boards for several academic publications and is an associate editor for Personnel Psychology. She also served as the 2012-13 Chair of the HR Division of the Academy of Management and is a Fellow of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology and the American Psychological Association.

Boswell said that her willingness to accept different roles in the management department over time (such as her service as Director of the CHRM Center and as the department’s Doctoral Program Coordinator) yielded valuable opportunities for her to learn about the challenges associated with leading what is an eclectic management department. These experiences, coupled with her strong commitment to observe others in various leadership roles, have served as an excellent foundation for her work as head of the management department.

Her former department head, Murray Barrick, shared accolades about Boswell. “Every day is a fun day with Wendy Boswell. She is smart, persistent, loyal, and as just noted, enjoys having fun,” he said. “She has impressed me with her thoughtful approach to capitalizing on someone’s strengths to re-organize work and by doing so has ensured that her faculty and staff experience even more success and embrace the opportunity to showcase their talents. I expect Wendy will have a long and successful career as a leader of the department.”

Boswell’s goals for the management department include those of preparing for faculty retirements that are imminent and working with others to further enhance key high impact programs within the department involving entrepreneurship and human resource management as well as help shape innovative programs within Mays such as the new Master of Science in Business degree and customized executive programs for the Center for Executive Development.

Based on her field of study, Boswell is committed to leading employees in ways that capitalize on their strengths. She aims to foster inclusion within the department between the varying groups non-tenure track faculty, the tenured and nontenured professors, staff and the center directors. “Just a few months ago, I may not have understood why some things were done the way they were,” she said. “Now, I may have a new perspective but I also bring insight from being a faculty member here in Mays for a while and from serving in different roles within the department. With this perspective, there are a few things I can do. For instance, our intradepartmental communication can be improved and we can better capitalize on the unique strengths individuals bring to the department and school.”

John Boudreau, who was Boswell’s dissertation chair when she was a Ph.D. student at Cornell University, said she was patient and gifted when working as a research assistant through several rounds of writing and editing research articles.

He described her as “remarkably modest. “On one paper, I gave her a conceptual outline of something I thought might be interesting. In her customary way she did a very thorough job producing quite a nice first draft,” he recalled. “When I noted how much work she had done, she simply said, ‘It was all in your outline, I just filled it in.’” 

At Mays, the department head must also be a full professor. Boswell teaches courses on human resource management at the undergraduate, graduate (master’s and doctoral) and executive levels, and was the recipient of the Center for Teaching Excellence Montague Scholar Award (2004) and the Dr. Ricky W. Griffin Research Award (2012).

Being a department head is like a double or triple dose of responsibility, because you’ve got commitments to your class and research program but also a whole lot of administrative tasks including plenty of meetings,” she said. “You have formal responsibilities, but you also have ‘fires’ – all these peripheral things to deal with when things pop up. You cannot schedule for those things and I have learned that each day cannot be planned. If I get one thing done on my ‘to-do’ list, I feel like that’s pretty good.

Another of Boswell’s challenges will be continuing to balance her job with her role as wife and mom of two children. Even though she has done extensive research on work-nonwork conflict and had a study on the pros and cons of constant connection to work published recently in Academy of Management Journal, Boswell says the delineation doesn’t come easily to her. “I think you can have it all, it just depends on how you define ‘all.’ I’ll just have to keep shifting to meet the demands before me.”

“Even though it wasn’t strategized, I could see this new role coming,” she said, referring to preparation by her predecessors Ricky Griffin, Duane Ireland, and Murray Barrick and a key mentor Don Hellriegel. “I knew my colleagues believed in me and had faith in my ability to lead.”

Boswell added: I’m truly happy to be here, that’s why I’ve been here my entire academic career, and I’m excited about the future and our leadership.


2015 – Head of the Department of Management, Mays Business School

2013 Holder of the Jerry and Kay Cox Endowed Chair in Business

2012-2013 Rebecca U. ’74 & William S. Nichols III ’74 Professor of Management, Mays Business School

2005-2011 Director, Center for Human Resource Management (CHRM), Mays Business School

20052012 Associate Professor of Management, Mays Business School

20002005 Assistant Professor of Management, Mays Business School


Cornell University, Ph.D., May 2000, School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Major: Human Resource Studies, Minors: Management, Statistics

Cornell University, M.S., May 1997, School of Industrial and Labor Relations

California State University, Fresno, B.S., December 1994, Craig School of Business, Major: Human Resource Management, Graduated Magna Cum Laude


Categories: Departments, Faculty, Mays Business, News, Texas A&M, Uncategorized

You don’t have to know your career aspirations in order to have a successful career.

That’s what Steve Lovejoy told Business Honors students on his recent visit to Mays Business School. Lovejoy is Senior Vice President of Global Supply Chain at Starbucks Corporation, where he provides leadership in global manufacturing operations and store development.

Lovejoy said he couldn’t have foreseen his current role when he was an industrial engineering major at Purdue University. “Supply chain didn’t even exist,” he told students. “It found me. I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I graduated. My journey went with people putting opportunities in front of me and then me deciding if I wanted to take that next challenge. Because when you make changes, you’re taking a little bit of challenge – especially changing companies.”
After 18 years in supply chain, he joined the coffee company in 2010. His responsibilities have taken him internationally as he oversees global operations in all of Starbucks’ manufacturing sites and contract manufacturing sites around the world. He even worked abroad for six months in Shanghai, China.

Lovejoy advised students about making career decisions: “Take some chances, don’t be too quick to rotate out of an experience especially if you don’t like it. Because you have to ask yourself ‘am I learning something that’s going to foundationally help my career later on?’”

He recalled his own experience working third shift in a manufacturing plant as a sanitation supervisor in food operations. “That was not a fun 18 months – not at all,” he admitted. But working in a food company –learning about inspections, sanitation and the FDA – proved to be invaluable for his work at Starbucks. “Did I enjoy it? No. Am I glad I had the experience? Yes.”

Lovejoy also shared insight into Starbucks’ values, mission statement and five-year strategy and how all of it ties together to some of its recent social initiates. Starbucks is offering tuition to college students and opportunities to veterans; giving increased attention to sustainability and nutrition; and raising awareness of various social issues. Though this social involvement is controversial, Lovejoy said the company is simply trying to do the right thing.

“Many of the things we’re doing we’re not trying to do for competitive advantage,” he explained. “We’re doing them because they’re the right things to do. The more companies that join in, the better our world will be.”

Many of the students received this message well. “I really enjoyed his point of view on Starbucks’ social goals and the ensuing discussion,” said Rusty Hundley ’16, a Business Honors and finance major. ”It is great to see companies making an impact outside of their business.” Hundley also said the discussion of Lovejoy’s personal career “highlighted to me the importance of foundational experience and the non-reversibility of some decisions we make.”

David Jordan ’16, a Business Honors and finance major, added: “I have a lot of respect for Starbucks’ mission of being excellent through a lens of humanity not being afraid to voice opinions on sensitive issues.” He said the presentation helped him “see Starbucks as providing a place of comfort and normalcy for customers across the world.”

Categories: Business Honors, Executive Speakers, Mays Business, News, Students, Texas A&M

IMG_5305Sixth-graders from Bryan ISD’s Odyssey Academy visited Mays Business School for the second day of the Freshman Business Initiative’s project presentations.
Henry Musoma’s FBI students presented posters in the Wehner atrium that depicted their semester-long research on how certain global issues relate to business. Richard Johnson’s students presented posters the previous day.
The students worked in teams to research a specific global issue and find ways that a specific major of business – finance, marketing, supply chain, etc. – might address the issue. The presentations ranged from Health and Healthcare in South Africa to Coronary Heart Disease in Panama to Transportation in Brazil.
“I didn’t realize that many countries had so much problems,” said sixth-grader Reagan Barker, who was one of dozens of students from the STEM magnet program at Stephen F. Austin Middle School.
Musoma arranged the visit as an outreach to the community, to enhance the younger students’ understanding of global issues and business and empower them to reach their fullest potential and set college as a viable goal.
Musoma“You can see everything click in their heads,” said Mays freshman Reagan Brown, who partnered with freshman Carmen Guzman to present “The Poverty Problem” about poverty in Canada. “It’s really interesting to see how much they understand about the topic,” Brown said.
Guzman added: “It’s amazing to come here and work with these kids. They even taught me some things.”

Categories: Faculty, Mays Business, Programs, Students, Texas A&M, Uncategorized

Geoff Greenwade ’83 describes his successful 30-year banking career as “a path of accidents.” While speaking with a group of Business Honors students at Mays Business School, he encouraged them to learn how to recognize these hidden opportunities that have contributed to his success.

22704572519_551be4021b_oGreenwade is the president and chief executive officer of Greenbank, a leading Texas bank for commercial lending and personal banking services. Before joining Greenbank in 2008, Greenwade held positions at Bank of America and Wells Fargo. He holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from Texas A&M University and an MBA from Baylor University.

While speaking of his time at Texas A&M, he encouraged students to take advantage of all of the opportunities available, stressing the importance of networking with fellow classmates and learning the art of balance. “The [Aggie] ring gets you an invite to an elite club,” he said. “Take full advantage of it.”

He also emphasized the importance of finding opportunities in unconventional places. Greenwade’s pointers included sitting next to the most important person in the room, actively listening and asking purposeful questions.  “Your career path will not fall into your lap. You are the only one who can actively manage it,” he said. “Learn to be in the right place at the right time.”

Business Honors major Carly Hicks ’19 said she appreciated Greenwade’s transparency, noting her biggest takeaway was that oftentimes one’s career seems to just fall into place by being open-minded. “What I found most striking is that Mr. Greenwade originally pursued his career for a trivial reason, but ended up loving it and being good at it,” she said. “Thus, his success in and love for his career came from what could be seen as an accident.”

Greenwade said the most important step when beginning a career is to honestly evaluate your strengths and passions. “Choosing a path that you are passionate about will benefit you longer than the salary will,” he said.

“My greatest insight from this luncheon was how to use strengths to your advantage,” said Business Honors student Christina Chan ’17. “Mr. Greenwade has the strength of individualization, and this strength was easy to see when he went around the table asking about each individual student.”

Additional advice Greenwade gave students included identifying your priorities and recognizing the importance of character. Greenwade told the students: “Business revolves around character. To be successful you need the right employees, the right customers and supportive shareholders, and you will not get those without having strong character.”

In closing, Greenwade advised students to “show up every day and work harder than everyone around you.” He added: “Success isn’t about how smart you are, but how hard you work.”

Business Honors major Trevor Pownell ’18 commented afterward on Greenwade’s easygoing, friendly demeanor. “I left Mr. Greenwade’s luncheon feeling reassured and carrying a newfound interest in the banking world,” Pownell said. “His eclectic path to success was extremely insightful on how to handle upcoming life decisions.”

Categories: Alumni, Business Honors, Departments, Mays Business, News, Students, Texas A&M

There is great power in investing in another person, keynote speaker Robert E. Jordan ’85 told a crowd of about 700 people attending the 2015 Mays Business School Scholarship Banquet.

“It doesn’t have to be thousands of dollars, it can just be encouragement and caring,” he said. “Oftentimes, the best gift is yourself and your time.”

Robert JordanDonors and recipients, along with Mays faculty and staff members, got to know one another over dinner at the Hall of Champions at Kyle Field.

Jordan urged the crowd to take 15 seconds to think of someone who has had a big impact on their lives over the years. “Now take one minute to share that person with those at your tables,” he said. Laughter and stories rippled through the crowd. “I’m sure you felt gratitude, appreciation and warmth for that person. Remember that feeling, and help make others feel that way.”

Jordan, who is executive vice president and chief commercial officer of Southwest Airlines, spoke of the importance of giving back. He received a bachelor’s degree in computer science and an MBA at Texas A&M University. His wife worked full-time throughout school to support the family, and he received a fellowship that helped support his graduate studies. “I was there because someone I barely knew had decided to do something really generous and help me out,” he said.  “As you leave here and become myopic about work, never lose sight of the greater goals of life.”

Dean Eli Jones introduced and thanked Jordan, who funded a scholarship with his wife Kelly P. Jordan ’86. Jones expressed appreciation to all the donors present. He said during 2014, more than 1,700 scholarships from individual and corporate contributions were awarded to Mays students. “I don’t have to tell you that tuition is expensive, and scholarships help the students directly in this area,” Jones said. “But alumni giving is also a key indicator used to measure the quality of students, faculty and other resources of a university. It is a significant portion of the U.S. News & World Report overall ranking, and the support of our donors helps propel Texas A&M in the national rankings.”

Jones also introduced Layeeka Ismail, a first-generation Aggie who is a business honors and accounting student in the Professional Program, a five-year program that leads to a bachelor’s in accounting and a master’s in a business major.Layeeka Ismael

Ismail said the support of others has helped her succeed at Texas A&M, where she has studied in Morocco, been involved in numerous student organizations and will intern with Deloitte in Houston. She is also on a team that will represent Mays at the BI Norwegian Business School International Case Competition. “Now that it is my senior year, I’m filled with nostalgia,” Ismail said. “Inside and outside the classroom, we’ve been so poured and invested into. Thank you for investing in us. You are fulfilling our dreams.”

Photographs from the banquet are available on the Mays Flickr account.

Categories: Donors Corner, Mays Business, News, Students, Texas A&M