FPU celebrated a year, and some careers, during the Faculty-Staff...
2008 Business Forum
Morris distills ancient wisdom for modern consumption
Tom Morris brought friends with him to Fresno Pacific University's 2008 Business Forum October 22: Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Seneca, Cicero, Marcus Aurelius, Zeno, a high school buddy and a kid who loves baseball.
A former philosophy professor at the University of Notre Dame, Morris distilled the ideas of the ancients into practical wisdom for about 1,000 business and professional leaders over breakfast at the Fresno Convention & Entertainment Center.
His "Seven Cs of Success" are conception, confidence, concentration, consistency, commitment, character and the capacity to enjoy. To make those Cs more than an alliterative list, Morris turned to a tool that has served philosophers for ages: stories.
Confidence and concentration: A kid in his backyard talks to himself while tossing a baseball in the air and trying to hit it. "I am the world's greatest baseball player," Morris says, taking an imaginary swing. "He misses the ball. He does this three times--strike one, strike two, strike three. Three strikes you're out." The kid is disappointed a moment, Morris says, then brightens as realizes his true talent: "What a pitcher!"
Consistency and commitment: In high school, Morris was already playing professional rock guitar. His best friend, Don, would come over every day and eagerly ask: "Want to start a band?" Don, unfortunately, was a mediocre at even the tambourine and worse at singing. "I'd tell him 'Let's just play,'" Morris says.
But Don doesn't give up. He moves from their native Durham, North Carolina, to Nashville, Tennessee, sleeps in a car for six months, takes guitar and voice lessons and writes songs. Lots of songs. In 1978, he writes "The Gambler" for Kenny Rogers, beginning a string of singles that lands Don Schlitz in the Country Music Hall of Fame. "I'll have one question for him next time I see him," Morris says: "Want to start a band?"
There was more. But in the end the wisdom of the ages comes down to the shortest, and most profound, piece of advice ever given—know thyself. Morris adds one amendment—enjoy the process.
Morris is the author of about 20 books, including If Aristotle Ran General Motors. He founded the Morris Institute of Human Values, where he serves thousands of business leaders every year.
Adaptation: Mastering The Art of Change
By Tom Morris
We're living now in a period of widespread, unsettling change and growing economic uncertainty. Every day seems to bring with it a new cause for anxiety. It's easy to worry about the future. But the great philosophers of the past have recommended something very different from that reaction: the positive response of creative adaptation.
"A situation becomes favorable only when we adapt to it."
The I Ching
One of the primary sources of power in life is the skill of adaptation. It's also one of the most important contributors to long-term success. As someone who has studied for decades the wisdom of the ages on all aspects of personal achievement, I've come to understand something very important. Our ability to flex appropriately with changing circumstances, and our knack for transforming our circumstances in accordance with our own highest aspirations, are two distinct sides of adaptation. And they are both absolutely necessary for attaining business and personal excellence in times of change.
The good news is that there is an art of change that will give us the crucial inner keys for masterful adaptation. A consistent practice of this art can generate amazing results.
"What in the whole universe is more natural than change?"
Arrangements for the appearance of Tom Morris were made through BigSpeak, Inc., Santa Barbara, Calif.