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Nate’s Notes 49: Chris Howard | Focus and Attention to Detail

By January 24, 2023June 8th, 2023No Comments

Chris Howard

COO of Arizona State University

Chris Howard, president of Robert Morris University, joins ASU Enterprise leadership | ASU News

Chris Howard is one of the most accomplished leaders I’ve ever met and I love the lessons he shared.

First, if we want to achieve anything in life, we need to focus on the task at hand. Fisher DeBerry taught Chris that when he crossed that blue line it didn’t matter what had happened up on the hill that day. It was time to focus. It’s not just about taking a 1000 shots a day. It’s about the focus required to make a 1000 shots per day. Practice doesn’t make perfect, but perfect, focused practice makes perfect.

Second, as an officer in Afghanistan, Chris learned the importance of attention to detail while traveling from Bagram Airbase to Kabul. By carefully checking all of their gear, and doing it right every time, they were able to literally save lives.

Third, for Chris higher education is all about servant leadership, and solving complex problems that make society better. The organizational leadership program he was able to institute with the Pittsburgh port authority helped workers rise the ranks, and turn their credits, into credentials, into degrees.

In summary, by developing the ability to stay focused and pay attention to detail, whether in sports, the military, school, or any other arena, we can learn to solve problems that make society better.

“Upon the fields of friendly strife are sown the seeds that upon other fields on other days will bear the fruits of victory.”

It’s a simple idea. Please take it seriously.

Chris Howard Bio:

Dr. Chris B. Howard is the COO of Arizona State University. He’s a distinguished graduate of the United States Air Force Academy where he played football and earned the Campbell Trophy, the highest academic award for a senior in college football. In the military he was awarded a Bronze Star as a helicopter pilot and intelligence officer in Afghanistan.

Chris earned a doctorate from the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar and an MBA with distinction from Harvard. He then served as vice president at the University of Oklahoma, President of Hampden-Sydney College, and President of Robert Morris University. During this time he also served as a member of the College Football Playoff Selection Committee.

I hope you enjoyed learning from Dr. Chris Howard, because I certainly did. 


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