MAURICIO GUARDADO (C6)

RETAIL MANAGER, SANTA CLARITA WATER DIVISION OF CLWA

1) What are you responsible for in your current leadership role (work)? General Manager of a public water utility.

2) What motivates, drives or inspires you? if I were a car, my “drive” gear would be passion.

3) Who is your role model, hero, or mentor? Why?  I have a few, however, the guidance from one particular high school basketball coach helped me first recognize the power of focusing on and drawing out peoples strengths, while creating awareness of weaknesses to move toward improvement.

4) Why did you choose the EML program over other master programs? Fortunately I have had many successes in my career by getting results; strong skills in designing, constructing and project management of hydraulic infrastructure along with good communication skills landed me the opportunity to oversee an entire organization. After years of additional success in change management and cultural transformation at work, I felt stagnant, plateau and a void inside; a persistent drive to figure out what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.  Weird, I know, especially with the success happening.  To add, I even felt guilty for feeling this way.

In my research for post graduate curriculum, nowhere did I find course descriptions that stressed the applications of core, transformation, interactive, reflective, innovative, collaborative, authentic and professional settings until I investigated the Executive Master of Leadership program (EML) at USC. As a result, with the influence of a USC Alumnus and the platform I believed EML would propel me to, I applied and was accepted as a member of Cohort 6 for the summer of 2012 within the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy.

5) How has the EML program helped you in your career development and/or as a leader? The “Core” courses helped me discover who I really am, what I want to be, and what I need to do to get me where I want to go.  Feedback from my staff has indicated that I have become a better leader as a result.

6) What is your fondest memory of your EML experience? Networking; in the sense that I truly look forward meeting my new friends after session for good libations and great stories and building lasting relationships.

7) What readings inspired you the most during the program and why? It’s hard to say, as I refer back to many frequently.

8) What suggestions do you have for those students who are starting the EML program?  Do yourself and those who you may potentially lead someday a big favor; if you just want a degree to fill up your resume – attend an MBA program, but if you truly want to learn how to unleash the power in people, EML has a place for you.

9) What was your favorite or most memorable quote by guest speakers or EML professors? – “Sam, sometimes you just need to shut the F#@$ up!”…. Dr. Culley.

10) How are you doing on your PDP? So far on track.

Connect with Mauricio on Linkedin

JENNY ECCLES (C6)

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT, USC PRICE

1) So what do you do in your current role at USC? I work with donors, alumni, faculty and senior administration to support USC Price’s academic priorities in conjunction with the school’s $150 million capital campaign goal. I am also responsible for major gift fundraising, planned giving and donor stewardship, and I oversee USC Price’s Parent Programs.

2) We like to ask this question, “What motivates, drives or inspires you as an individual?”  Having a part in helping people reach their goals in the areas of philanthropy or career development.

3) Who is your role model, hero, or mentor?  My mom- she went back to school to receive a graduate degree when my sister and I were in elementary school.  We lived in a rural area without a university nearby and she undertook an evening commute of 2.5 hours to attend class three times a week.  I was able to see at a young age how her degree and experience in graduate school shaped her professionally.

4) Why did you choose the EML program? I wanted to pursue a graduate degree at USC Price and was first impressed with the flexibility the degree offered through intensive course scheduling.  After meeting enthusiastic graduates of the program who spoke to its many attributes, I was sold.

5) How has EML helped you in your career?  The USC Price EML offers a peerless leadership program for executives. With a sophisticated curriculum, dynamic speakers and plenty of individual coaching the program is distinctive and exceeded my expectations.

6) What memories do you have of EML?  Modules in the EML program allow students to lift the veil on non-profits,c orporations and government agencies—analyzing the good, bad and ugly in terms of leadership, structure, strategic planning and day-to-day business. These capstone projects were especially rewarding as students work in professionally diverse teams.

7) What suggestions do you have for EML newbies?  Open up to the experience and develop relationships with members of the cohort and faculty—the experience is beyond rewarding!

9) What was your favorite or most memorable quote by guest speakers or EML professors? Jane Pisano, President of Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County spoke about her leadership philosophy: “before you can be a leader, you need to understand who you are personally and what your institution is—remembering that this is part reality and part inspirational.” Jane also discussed integrated branding and budget alignment as a tool for organizational transformation and the importance of unified mission, vision and value statements. 

10) What is something that most people don’t know about you?  While I enjoy city life, I love fly fishing, hiking, camping and outdoor sports.

11) Favorite Cullyism?  I like the deceiving simplicity of Rick’s statements. One item that we all found great meaning in was “being strategic is about having the questions—not having the answers.”

12) And most importantly, what is your favorite USC hangout?  The Lab

MICHAEL HUMARA (C6)

SUBMARINE OFFICER, U.S. NAVY

1) What are you responsible for in your current leadership role (work)?  Department head on a nuclear powered submarine. Responsible for 40-50 sailors and equipment ranging from nuclear reactors to ship control systems.

2) What motivates, drives or inspires you as an individual? To be a good husband and father.

3) Who is your role model, hero, or mentor?  Not really sure anymore. We all have our flaws and I have learned to try to see the best in lots of people.

4) Why did you choose the EML program over other master programs? I needed to be challenged in a different way. Leadership is something that is allowed me to geo in a direction that was beyond the scope of my work.

5) How has the EML program helped you in your career development and/or as a leader? Its hard to say yet as far as my career, but the skills learned have improved my personal relationships with family and friends.

6) What is your fondest memory of your EML experience? Dreading the work work to come on those long weekends, only to be completely relieved by the sight of good friends that you were going to share that time with.

7) What readings inspired you the most during the program and why? Tribal Leadership. It provided to most significant insights into understanding how both people and organizations behave. It also served as a “how to” reference in navigating in a group.

8) What suggestions do you have for those students who are starting the EML program? The degree is only a piece of paper. Make the time, put in the effort and don’t be afraid to open up.

9) What was your favorite or most memorable quote by guest speakers or EML professors?

-Bob Denhardt: “You can call me Bob”
-Armando Hogan: “Dr Denhardt, you’ve earned the title”

-Bob: “I’m over it.”

10) How are you doing on your Personal Development Plan (PDP)? Not well, but in writing these responses will revisit it.

11) What is your favorite App? The Week (an app that offers commentary on and analysis of the day’s breaking news and political debates, as well as arts, entertainment, business and technology coverage).

12) Your favorite Cullyism? ”Mike, You need to learn to shut the F___ up!”

13) Favorite USC EML hangout or best item to order? Traddies, anything in the 100 oz tower.

EMILY VAUGHN HENRY (C6)

CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER, EDUCATION DYNAMICS

1) What are you responsible for in your current leadership role (work)? I am responsible for the technology vision and innovation for my organization.  

2) What motivates, drives or inspires you as an individual?  Integrity, Intelligence and Energy - if you don’t have the first the other two will kill you.
3) Who is your role model, hero, or mentor? My parents are my role models they taught my sister and myself – if you work hard you will succeed and to never take short cuts.
4) Why did you choose the EML program over other master programs?  I choose the EML program because I felt like something was missing in my took kit and my other masters degree did not give me what I needed. The EML program has given my the confidence in my leadership abilities. 
5) How has the EML program helped you as a leader?  I think for 3 seconds before opening my mouth and I am not afraid to give feedback whether it is negative or positive.
6) What are some of your fondest memories of your EML experience? The friendships, the following professors: Culley, Logan, Myrtle. For the first time in my education life I can say I have life long friends. I check in with a few people once a week. 
7) What readings inspired you the most during the program?  I love reading so for me it is really hard because I can list a few: Good to Great & The Blue Ocean Strategy.
8) What suggestions do you have for those new to the EML program? Take time to forge friendships and don’t miss out on the socials and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
9) What was your favorite quote by an EML professor?  ”Get Comfortable with being Uncomfortable.”
10) How are you doing on your PDP? I went back recently because I was struggling in an area and believe it or not it was an area I identified in my PDP that I wanted to work on.
11) What is something that most people don’t know about you?  I am a tent camper and a certified sky diver.
12) Favorite Apps?  LinkedIn, Flipboard, TED, HRB Today
13) Favorite “Cullyism”? “Get Comfortable with be Uncomfortable.”
14) Favorite USC EML hangout? Best item or drink to order? The Lab & Flemmings:  Flemmings (Filet) The Lab (Delirium)

Connect with Emily on Linkedin

STEVE ROBERTSON (C5)

LIEUTENANT, CITY OF GLENDALE POLICE DEPT.

1) What are you responsible for in your current leadership role (work)? I am a Bureau Commander that manages several different details for the Glendale Police Department. I have approximately 40 personnel who report directly to me.

2) What motivates, drives or inspires you as an individual? I am driven from within and this goes back to my childhood. I am very goal oriented and I enjoy completing tasks.

3) Who is your role model, hero, or mentor?  Both of my parents are all of these to me. They have instilled many values in me and have proven over time that they operate under the same value system.

4) Why did you choose the EML program over other master programs? I wanted a program that was not limited to just one area of expertise that could be beneficial in several. I also wanted a program that was practitioner based with less theory.

5) How has the EML program helped you in your career development and/or as a leader? It focused on developing me personally and as a leader. They drill down on areas that you need to work on personally.

6) What are your fondest memories of your EML experience? The friendships of both my cohort and our professors.

7) What reading(s) inspired you the most during the program and why? Good to Great and Built to Last.

8) What suggestions do you have for those students who are starting the EML program? Get comfortable being uncomfortable. You have to be willing to show your weaknesses to develop as an individual.

9) What was your favorite or most memorable quote by guest speakers or EML professors? My favorites were all from Dr. Culley and Dr. Myrtle.

10)  How are you doing on your PDP? It is progressing as planned. That is a living and breathing document.