See You @ High Flyers

Imagine it is the year 2022 and you have just received your invitation to the “Duke CCMBA Class of 2012 Reunion”.  Shooters has been converted into an oxygen bar named “High Flyers”.  The invitation reads:

Dear CCMBA 2012 Alum,

As the MBA class that has the highest net worth and social capital in the world, we humbly invite you to return to Durham, North Carolina on the evening of May 5, 2022 for a 10 Year Reunion. 

The Fuqua team looks forward to welcoming you home for this event.

Sincerely,

Malcom Riley – Dean

Fuqua School of Business

 

Fast-forward to May 5, 2022.  The High Flyers wait staff is helping prepare the room for the exclusive private event that Duke is holding.  Security is at its peaks due to the high profile crowd that will be attending.  Sandra and Yasmine can’t help but chat with Brad the bartender about all the excitement.

Let’s listen in to what they’re saying…shalllllll weeee!

Sandra: “Yasmine, you know what this event is tonight right?”

Yasmine: “I heard it was a class reunion, but I’ve never seen so much hoopla over a class reunion before.”

Sandra: “It’s a reunion alright, this is the Duke CCMBA 2012 class.  Apparently the cumulative net worth of everyone in the room is 10% of the world’s overall net worth.  People like Abe Kim who owns the Uncle Abe’s coffee chain that bought out Starbucks.  Nick Sarraf, the guy that created the Nu-phone.  Talk about revolutionary…it’s hard to believe we ever had to carry a phone with us rather than just having the chip implant.”

Brad  chimes in:  “Hey ladies, what’s all the chatter about?  Don’t tell me you two are excited to see Lady A tonight?”

Sandra squeals:  “WHATTTTTTTTTT???!!!!  THE Lady A is coming?  I love Ayisha Jeter!!!  When she took over the O Network I just knew it was going to be huge.  Who was that lady that she replaced that used to be a big deal?  Oprah or something?”

Brad: “Yeah, yeah she’s great and all, but she’s not the reason for all the security.  You know Ben Brooks is coming right?”

Yasmine: “PRESIDENT Ben Brooks?  So those guys in the black suits outside are Secret Service?”

Brad: “Yup, that’s right.  Apparently he’s flying Air Force 1 down here for the event.  A lot of the classmates in the Duke CCMBA 2012 class are big world players you know.  There’s this guy named Tim Krysiek is big in the oil business.  He made a deal with Russia to get in the market early when everyone thought it was still too risky.  Man did that pay off.  He used some of the money to invest into a real estate investment with another classmate, Edan Amar.  You ever heard of Casino Island in Qatar?”

Sandra: “Isn’t that the man-made island that Qatar built right before the Olympics were held there?”

Brad: “Yeah it is.  It’s shaped like a roulette wheel with the casino in the middle of the island and the housing developments rotate red & black streets all the way around.  There is a cruise ship that goes around the island 24 hours a day to look like the roulette ball.  Pretty cool because you can make bets on where passengers will ask to stop next while you’re at the hotel bar.  Absolutely genius.”

Sandra: “Ohhh that reminds me, isn’t one of the women coming the one who put on the Qatar Olympics?”

Yasmine: “Fatma Al-Ghanim is coming?  You know she is the one who is doing the first inter galactic games on the moon?  I heard she did a reception with all of the world leaders, including President Brooks, on the International Space Station.”

Brad: “I hadn’t heard that, but it doesn’t surprise me.”

Sandra: “Guys I just found the guest list.  Shaliz Afshar is going to be here….ughh…I’m going to have a heart attack.  I love her!  I remember when she was on CNBC and I have followed her fashion blog every day since…forever!  She was just at the Milan fashion week with Anna Winters and I heard they are talking about starting their own line.  If they do I think I will need a new job so I can afford to buy EVERYTHING they make.”

Brad: “You ladies and the fashion.  I’m all about Brad Dubinsky.  He’s the guy that does the “F16 Instructional Videos”.  That stuff is awesome.  He goes up in an F16 and teaches you stuff like algebra at Mach 3 speed!  It’s so cool.  I used his course for Accounting and Professor Schipper gave me a perfect score.”

Yasmine takes a hit of oxygen and tries to calm herself down.  She nervously looks at Brad and Sandra and says: “You guys, this Duke CCMBA Class is seriously the best group of people in the world.  They all went to Duke in the same class?”

Sandra: “Yeah, I know.  Hard to believe right?”

Fade back to present.

Wow…I don’t know about you guys but I can’t wait for that day!  What’s even more amazing is that I believe that when that day comes, we’re all going to shocked at not just the accomplishments that Sandra, Brad, and Yasmine talked about here, but about all the other ones I didn’t have time to list or vision to foresee.

But guess what.  That day may not come at all if the Annual Fund isn’t there.  The Annual Fund isn’t just used for paying salaries or buying books.  It’s used for things like newsletters, reunions, regional networking events, and education events.

So if you are like me, and you believe that the 10 Year Duke CCMBA 2012 Reunion is going to be an epic experience to come together again with people that have changed the world, help make that happen.  You can still donate/pledge to the 2012 Class Gift campaign all the way up to May 8.

DONATE HERE

Let’s get ready for our practice run at Shooters in a few days, and get those donations in so we can have a great reunion!

The Juggling Act

Sometimes inspiration comes out of desperation.  It was just so this evening after a two hour marathon team call to review our consulting report for Strategy.  After discussing every matrix any consulting firm has ever developed, and evaluating not just our firm but every firm in the industry against these matrices, my eyes were crossing.  As we were wrapping up our call, my teammate Shaliz Afshar made sure to announce that finals were soon around the corner.  With only a week to go and so much to do for assignments, not to mention final plans for Russia, wrapping up Q2 at work, unpacking from India (which I’m ashamed to say still has not been completed), and all the other normal things like brushing one’s teeth I had to take a deep breath.  I might have shared an emoticon on Skype that portrayed my “uneasiness” as well.

It was in this moment that my sidekick Ravi Bansal popped online.  As each of us in the CCMBA program will attest, there is always that one person in the program that knows exactly what is going with you and can empathize with you so you don’t feel alone.  Here was my conversation with Ravi…and this is how I was inspired to write this blog post.

[5/30/2012 11:45:54 PM] Jordan Cathleen Lofton: bleh..i can’t believe finals are right here

[5/30/2012 11:45:57 PM] Jordan Cathleen Lofton: this is crazzzzyyy

[5/30/2012 11:46:12 PM] Ravi Bansal: i know

[5/30/2012 11:46:44 PM] Ravi Bansal: i have stopped looking at finance i need to start looking at it again but just need to get my dumb part in strategy done

 [5/30/2012 11:47:04 PM] Jordan Cathleen Lofton: i feel like a juggler

[5/30/2012 11:47:28 PM] Jordan Cathleen Lofton: if i can just toss this ball high enough in the air i can catch the next ball and then toss it up and so forth

Of course I am a nerd so I had to look up juggling and find out how it is done.  As if somehow learning to juggle balls would help me juggle responsibility.  It was this YouTube video that caught my eye and not only made me laugh, but think that there might be some practical applications for what we’re going through with juggling the CCMBA.

First watch Charlie then keep reading.  :)

YouTube Preview Image

So as you can see there is a process to learn how to juggle.  It doesn’t happen overnight.  On day one Charlie could barely even catch one ball going hand to hand, but after 8 days of practice and slowly increasing the difficulty Charlie developed a rhythm.

Not surprisingly experts say this same process of “learning to juggle” happens with juggling tasks.

  • Step 1 – Selecting the Right Things to Juggle – before you even begin you have to actually understand what the tasks are you’re about to manage and in some way determine their priority to you.  You don’t have to pick up every task, like unpacking for instance, you just have to juggle the most important ones.
  • Step 2 – Start With Only One – Just as Charlie started with only one ball and practiced tossing it from left to right, experts say that’s how you begin to juggle responsibilities.  By focusing on just one task or project you’re able to learn the rhythm of catching, throwing, and shuffling that is necessary to juggle.  Sooner or later it starts to feel like a well-oiled machine.  Looking back on it, that feels like what work was before I was in the CCMBA program.  I learned how to juggle work really well.
  • Step 3 – Add In Another Task– Now that there is a good balance going on you can add another task or project.  The goal is to move seamlessly from one task to the other without missing a beat.  Work and school, school and work, work and school, school and work….School….ooops work dropped….I’ve felt a lot like Charlie in the Day 2 section.
  • Step 4 – Full Blown Multi-Tasking – Now you’re ready for the biggest test of all….life, work, school.  The trifecta of juggling acts.  In this perfect balance all of your scores are SPs, you earn the promotion at work, and every single person in your family and all of your friends see you as much as they so desire.  Oh yes, and the bags from India are unpacked.  As you can tell I’ve progressed to attempt Step 3 (barely) at this portion of the program.

With that said, I head off to bed past midnight, awaiting my alarm clock, morning rush hour traffic and perfectly scheduled 9am meeting.

To quote Charlie, “Challenge completed.  I can juggle.  Gesticulation.  Awkward ending.  The end.”