Every week at Praxis, participants and alumni gather for Praxis Wednesdays, weekly group sessions designed to hone intellectual ability and build practical skills applicable to the professional world. These sessions cover everything from academic subjects — philosophy, history, and economics — to technical skills participants can use in their careers — such as writing, marketing, sales, communication, organization, and general business proficiency. Many weeks we’re joined by guest speakers, and other weeks we engage in open dialogue and debate.
Below is a rundown of this week’s Praxis Wednesday session!
Session Title: How Does Your Employer Think About Value Creation? with Don Kennedy
About the Call: Value is primarily defined by your employer, not you.
The world around you is filled with opportunities to create value. They’re begging to be acted upon. In this session, Don Kennedy (founder and president of a successful company and Praxis BP) shared insights on how to see opportunities to create value in a business, how to determine what’s valuable and what isn’t, and how to think about value creation from your employer’s perspective.
What you think is valuable isn’t necessarily what your employer thinks is valuable. But there are always problems to be solved – and problems to be solved = opportunities to create value.
About the Guest: Don Kennedy is a former Air Force officer and KC-135 pilot. Following his military service, Don brought his values of integrity, service and excellence to the home repair and remodeling business. This is an industry, he believes, in desperate need of reform and is working to bring ProMaster to every homeowner in America. He sits on the Board of Directors for The Global Mission and supports numerous faith-based charities. In his free time he enjoys coaching youth baseball, spending time with his family and working on his old Camaros.
“I want young people to know that when they walk into a vacuum, when they walk into a business and they have no idea what to do to create value, we can give them a framework to figure that out, so they don’t have to worry about, ‘am I needed? Am I creating value?'” — Don Kennedy
- What employers hire employees for: solving problems and taking care of customers.
- Creating value by increasing sales
- Creating value by increasing efficiency
- How the score in business is kept (in dollars and cents)
- The difference between what employees find valuable and what employers find valuable
- How to find opportunities to create value in unexpected places
- How to convince your employer to give you more responsibility
“Very cool. This is my first discussion I’ve sat in for Praxis. So far so good!” – Kamau Olatunji
“This is more interesting than any college class I have taken.” – Bryce Ward
Recommended Reading from Don:
Learned Optimism – Dr. Martin Seligman – “I give copies of this book away all the time. If you read it, it will change your life. Dr. Seligman talks about art of learned resilience. It’s a hard book to get through – it’s the kind of book you pick up and read for fifteen or twenty minutes and then try to digest the concepts.”
Recommended reading from Education Director T.K. Coleman to compliment concepts on the call, to recap the pros and cons of entrepreneurship:
23 (Surprising) Reasons To Work for Yourself – article by Ash Ambirge
23 Reasons Working for Yourself Will Drive You to Drink – article by Ash Ambirge