Business & Leadership
Business & Leadership is a course taught in the High School years, on a semi-elective basis, depending on the student's course load for any particular year (e.g. if AP courses are being undertaken, this course may be dropped to accommodate). Most students get 2-3 years of this course in high school.
A strong emphasis is put on students to utilize the communication skills learned to conduct leadership interviews. Reading is also a major component of our business & leadership course, and a example reading list is provided at the end of this section (CLICK HERE).
Please select a course module below to view what students cover in each module.
Business Basics - Structures, Organization & Industries
This course is designed to provide an introduction to the Business world today.
We look at the evolution of business from medieval, renaissance, industrial revolution, to today, and the current trends and direction for the future. We then take a look into Business Organizations and Structures from older "hierarchical" organizations to "matrix" style current businesses. We talk about Business growth and what happens when companies begin, flourish, and experience growth related issues. We study the functions of divisions in larger companies; an example is a field trip for a closer look at a large food manufacturing business, Harry & David, in Medford, Oregon.
We discuss a Businesses greatest asset—its people—and introduce discussions around effective leadership styles, what works and doesn't work, motivation, managing people, personality typing, change management, and conflict resolution. We review leaders in the business world now, looking into why their businesses are successful. Our reading list supports what we learn in this overview that introduces students to the more in-depth Business Communication module.
Next we take a look into Industry, and learn about the various Goods & Services industries in play today. Goods businesses including: manufacturing, production, engineering, mining, civil & construction, aerospace, automotive, horticulture & agriculture. Services businesses including: finance/insurance, banking, law, IT, education, tourism, healthcare, entertainment, advertising & marketing.
With a better understanding of the current business world, students then look into innovation, and research companies that are achieving (or aim to achieve) outstanding innovation and elevation for humankind. We talk about sustainability, resource management, business ethics & responsibility. Students will interview someone from their chosen business and present their business and research findings to the class.
In the Business Communication module we work through the bulk of our reading list, focusing on what makes a good leader in business, and how to define the characteristics required to lead with compassion, conviction, and focus towards a higher purpose. We strengthen the importance of referring to our "Mighty I AM Presence" first, in all communication endeavors. We refer to the Ascended Masters' Words on business and leadership, and in practical matters such as conflict resolution and change management.
We look at ourselves first, in defining our own innate characteristics, then address subjects like: Procrastination (with Eat that Frog by Brian Tracy); Passion and Drive (with multiple start-up stories in World Changers by John A. Byrne); and personal habits (with The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey and Make your Bed by Admiral William H. McRaven). These just being a few.
We then take a closer look at communication itself, beginning with some fun listening and comprehension games, inspirational TED talks, and exercises with communication at home with family members. This is often a very enlightening time for students, as they realize the power of their words, and what impact they have. We also discuss and practice business etiquette, in drafting letters, email correspondence, and dissecting the meanings and various possible interpretations of them through exercises together.
This module is usually split into three sections, and begins the Business & Leadership year, with each of the other three modules making up a rotating yearly schedule.
In Enterprise Studies, we put both Business Basics and Business Communication into action through the development of an Enterprise Project, that is presented at the end of the year to fellow students, parents, friends, faculty and School Board members.
Students begin looking at industries that interest them, and undertaking a research project on a successful, sustainable business or startup. We interview key leaders in that particular field, or from their research business, putting to use their Business Communication skills.
Students then begin their major project by developing business concepts for a new business startup idea, working through their concepts, interviews, and market research. We look closer at marketing in this stage, and understanding economic driving forces.
Next we utilize Business Model Generation by Alexander Osterwalder & Yves Pigneur, as a textbook to work through building a Business Model for their enterprises. We discuss and look closer at how to form the business model, from finance, key partnerships and relationships, through to advertising and logistics. This takes two-thirds of the course as we work through understanding each mode and facet of what it takes to run a business.
The final part of this course takes a closer look at presenting or "pitching" your business concept, and students put together their presentations for the final delivery. Often times making prototypes to include in their presentations (we love the restaurant and food ones!). The presentations are always so well received by all who see them.
We begin the year with Business Communication skills (see above), then put them into action in this module.
We take time to investigate each student's interests and possible vocational avenues he/she is looking at, then with that in mind we reach out to various leaders in education, government, business, and many other avenues, to establish connections and arrange a student-led interview. Some interviewees are also "I AM" Students from around the world, which brings an added depth of understanding how others integrate the "I AM" Teachings into their daily lives and work demands.
These interviews are usually an hour in length, and students formulate appropriate, well considered questions to ask. The vocation is a focus, but often times questions such as: "How do you achieve 'work-life' balance? How do you stay inspired? What drives you?" This where deeper connections are made, which often continue well after they graduate the "I AM" School. These interviews are incredibly motivational and inspirational for both the students and the subjects alike. They have led to students deciding on their vocational track, or where they want to make a difference in the world by hearing real stories of what and how people are changing the world we live in for the better.
Our sources include, but are not limited to: World History Textbooks, the "I AM" Ascended Master Dictations, Online Resources (including Forbes, SBA, and many others), TED talks, business owners/management worldwide. Also books including:
Unveiled Mysteries - Godfré Ray King
The Magic Presence - Godfré Ray King
The Business of Listening - Diane Bone
How to Speak & Listen Effectively - Harvey A. Robbins
Business Communication Today - Courtland L. Bovee & John V. Thill
Gifts Differing - Isabel Briggs Myers with Peter B. Myers
Business Model Generation"- Co-created then written by Alexander Osterwalder & Yves Pigneur
Student Reading Lists
This is a non-exhaustive list and often times, depending on the nature or subject interests of the students, we will resource and include new titles more specific for their needs or learning.
Eat that Frog - Brian Tracey
7 Habits of Highly Effective People - Stephen R. Covey
How to Win Friends & Influence People - Dale Carnegie
The Silent Language of Leaders - Carol Kinsey Goman
The Richest Man in Babylon - George S. Clason
Make Your Bed - Admiral William H. McRaven
World Changers - John A. Byrne
Past additional reading, student-centric:
4-hour work week - Timothy Ferris
TED Talks - Chris Anderson
Make Peace with Your Mind - Mark Coleman
Rich Dad, Poor Dad - Robert T. Kiyosaki
Think and Grow Rich - Napoleon Hill
Awaken the Giant Within - Anthony Robbins
The Machine that Changed the World - James P. Womack, Daniel T. Jones, Daniel Roos
Purple Squirrel - Michael B. Junge
Screw Business as Usual - Richard Branson
Rewiring Education - John D. Couch