Interview With The Author: Dr. Fred Zuker
Former Vice President of Advancement, interim President, and Interim Provost, Parker University (Dallas, Texas)
Former Interim President, Texas Chiropractic College
1) What is the main takeaway from your book that you hope Registry Members will derive from Standing Tall and Looking Good?
Take advantage of all the opportunities that come your way. Every situation in life, including basic training, presents opportunities to learn and grow. The Army taught me that accepting responsibility is empowering and transformational. Against conventional GI wisdom, I volunteered for a variety of duties and took advantage of learning from each one. I continued doing that throughout my career in higher education.
2) Could you supply a brief anecdote from the book that will illustrate this takeaway effectively?
In basic training Field First Sergeant Collins put me in charge of Echo Company, 150 men to march and manage. I knew nothing about the military. In eight weeks, we formed a cohesive group and won the Battalion Honor Company award. I was even nicknamed The Big Cluck by other basic training companies on our street. When asked why, one of the guys said, “We watch him marching you guys up and down the street with his E-6 stripes, looking all military, you know, standing tall.”
3) How did your experience in our military shape you as a higher education leader?
My experience in the military taught me that groups can only be led by example and empowerment. If the leader sets the right example and empowers the team members to be leaders themselves everyone benefits. Mission critical organizations, like the Army, depend upon inspirational leadership from top to bottom.