Schumann and Pierce Receive the College of Business Administration’s
Inaugural GLS North Star Award

David SchumannFred PierceDavid Schumann, Taylor Professor in Business, and Fred Pierce, director of undergraduate programs, received the inaugural Global Leadership Scholars North Star Award, the highest recognition and honor given by the Global Leadership Scholars honors program (GLS) in the College of Business Administration. Recipients of the North Star award demonstrate extraordinary leadership, commitment, and service to the Global Leadership Scholars program. Schumann and Pierce co-developed the college’s Global Leadership Scholars Honors program and launched it in 2008.

“Dr. Schumann and Mr. Pierce have no idea how much of an impact they have made in each of our lives,” said Jonathan Emkes, Global Leadership Scholar in the May 2011 graduating class. “They invested countless hours in each of us, helped us reach our full potential, and prepared us for our futures. Because of them, we are better students, better leaders, but, most importantly, better human beings. The foundation and legacy they established will continue to influence future Global Leadership Scholars classes for many years to come.” 

The name “North Star “ was selected for this award because of the North Star’s unique characteristics and qualities that are easily transferable to “leadership within a global context.” First, the North Star’s light is very bright and highly visible among other stars. Like the North Star, effective and successful leaders rise above the crowd and distinguish themselves with their human constellation of natural and developed strengths, talents, gifts, and expertise. Recipients of the GLS North Star Award demonstrate unquestionable leadership that distinguishes them as a “leader among leaders.” Second, the North Star’s apparent position allows it to remain essentially fixed and stable. Again, like the North Star, effective and successful leaders are committed to their purpose and calling—never wavering or wandering off course—no matter what distractions or detours come their way. Stable leaders are guided by their firm beliefs and convictions and will always seek to pursue the “harder right” and avoid the “easier wrong.” Recipients of the GLS North Star Award have been a stable leadership force driving the learning community toward increased excellence.

Finally, because of these two characteristics (i.e., bright and highly visible, fixed and stable), the North Star is useful for global and celestial navigation. Historically, explorers and travelers have “aligned their compass” with the intentions of depending on the North Star to help them determine “location” (i.e.: “where they are”) as well as to help them determine “direction” (i.e.: “where they are going”). Knowing location and direction are two essential characteristics of being an effective and successful leader. In terms of location, leaders have a keen sense of awareness in knowing, understanding, and respecting where they are. Without an accurate sense of self-awareness, leaders cannot accurately assess themselves to determine their own gaps in order to grow, develop, and improve their present location.

Leaders also have a keen sense of direction; they know where they are going. Effective and successful leaders have the highest of aspirations and will stretch and strain to reach the apex of their goals. They are not satisfied with the status quo or being second best. Instead, North Star leaders carefully craft an action plan that will strategically and efficiently lead them on their leadership journey to their chosen destination. Recipients of the GLS North Star Award provide incredible leadership role models of self-reflection and direction.

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