Sir James Dyson: Learning to Achieve Success
University of Mary
This paper was prepared for Management and Organizational Behavior, MGT 504, taught by Professor Dan Thomas Jensen
“Learning is a change of behavior acquired through experience”. (Nelson, 2013, p.198). How appropriate that chapter six which focuses on learning and positive and negative reinforcement systems and ways of giving feedback would choose to present Sir James Dyson as a case study. His ability to learn based on trial and error in order to become successful is very inspiring. In 1991, when Bishop Ignatius Catanello took me out of a classroom and named me business manager, (although I had no education or training in finance or business), I was terrified. He explained that my honesty and love and devotion I had for the school would make up for a lack of training. He was very supportive and encouraging to me. Bishop Catanello was supportive even when I purchased a beautiful bus that would normally be used to transport people at airports, to transport students. I would find out a week after the purchase, since it wasn’t a regulation “school bus”, it could not be used for student transport. The bus remained parked for six months in the school parking lot as a symbol of my first mistake. It wasn’t the last mistake I would make; however, it was the most publically displayed mistake. I did my homework and learned all the school transportation laws, including proper driver licensing, bus inspections and article 19 regulations. Trial and error could probably describe my first few years as business manager. 1. “A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing” (George Bernard Shaw). Sir Dyson states that “someone doesn’t have to grow into a job. If you allow them to make mistakes, they will learn extremely quickly” (Nelson, 2013, p. 232). The important part isn’t the mistake…it is how you learn...
References: Nelson, D.L. & Quick, J.C. (2013). Organizational Behavior: Science, the Real World and You. Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.
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