Mustang Business Journal, Volume I, Issue II

Page 1




Interview with

Bill Dillon Op-Ed by

Jackson Baker


CONTENT Interview with Bill Dillon BLC Bulletin O'Neil Center Update Op-Ed by Jackson Baker Letter from the Editor

TAKE FIVE WITH BILL DILLON inside the mind of Smu's most interesting man.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE? I really don't have a favorite quote. The ones I think about and use more frequently in talking to folks are: "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem." (Jack Sparrow) "If you want to know what a man's like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals." (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." (Eleanor Roosevelt) "The more you do of something, the more you do it. The less you do of something, the less you do it." (Me, I think)

AFTER YOU LEAVE SMU, WHICH HOPEFULLY ISN'T FOR A LONG TIME, WHAT DO YOU WANT PEOPLE TO REMEMBER ABOUT YOU? I helped move the school forward and helped in creating a culture where faculty and staff enjoy coming to work.

WHAT DID YOU LIKE ABOUT SMU IN PARTICULAR? WHY DID YOU LEAVE YOUR LAST POSITION? First, though we had an enjoyable and productive 7 years in South Carolina, we wanted to get back to a bigger city. However, I also did not want to have any more "out of body experiences" caused by snow and sleet. In Columbia, SC, we often had to travel to Atlanta to see an independent film. So when we landed in Dallas and drove past the Inwood on Lovers Lane, I fell in love. Why SMU, well at that time I had spent most of my academic career at State schools. The prospect of joining the faculty of a Private University which are more nimble was exciting. In addition, I knew several of the faculty members in the Marketing department who I respected. In short, I thought that SMU and Cox had a lot of upside.

DID YOU ALWAYS KNOW YOU WANTED TO BE IN MARKETING/ACADEMIA? From the moment I taught my first class, yes. I knew that I wanted to stay in the academy. I gravitated to marketing since I realized that the quantitative models which I was most interested in were the most suitable for attacking marketingrelated problems.

WHAT MADE YOU LEAVE NEW YORK? Combination of factors: My wife and I love the city but on a day to day basis, tough city to live in. While we were in NY, a very close friend who hired me at UMASS in my first academic position and a doctoral student of mine both relocated to the University of South Carolina. They put the hard press on me and my wife who also had a close relationship to both.


WHEN YOU THINK OF THE WORD "SUCCESSFUL," WHO IS THE FIRST PERSON THAT COMES TO MIND AND WHY? I could say Winston Churchill but Dean Myers already gave that answer. I am a big fan of Churchill. I loved the Manchester series and am currently reading "My Early Life." But the other name that comes to mind is Alexander Hamilton. He was a prolific writer (contributed 51 of the 85 Federalist papers) and the father of our financial/monetary system. His accomplishments have become more mainstream since the success of Hamilton on Broadway - which I saw; it was fantastic.

WHAT BOOK OR BOOKS DO YOU GIFT OR HAVE GIFTED THE MOST TO OTHER PEOPLE? The three volumes on Churchill written by William Manchester. Chernow's Alexander Hamilton

WHAT IS THE MOST USEFUL PRODUCT OR SERVICE YOU'VE BOUGHT IN THE LAST YEAR THAT'S UNDER $100? This summer I wanted to brush up on my R programming skills and purchased a series of R tutorials from Udemy. I think they were running a special since it cost me $25 for over 10 modules, all of which were great.


WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOUR 20 YEAR OLD SELF? Though life's a long journey and people and circumstances change, remember what you say and put on social media will stay with you throughout the years.

IF YOU WERE FORCED TO GO OFF THE GRID WITH NO PHONE, INTERNET, ETC, WHERE WOULD YOU GO AND WHAT WOULD YOU DO? Sounds strange, but NYC. Without distractions, enjoy the city to its fullest museums, films, etc.

FAVORITE PLACE TO EAT IN TOWN? There's a tie: Abacus and Al Biernats

HOBBIES? None. That's why I wished I worked less.

FAMILY? Wife Heidi (together for 40 years), son Dallas (20 yrs. old and SMU undergraduate), and Ralph (our labradoodle and perhaps the most special of all of us).


The Business Leadership Center Enhances Your Cox Experience Over 25 years ago, Mr. Edwin L. Cox took a look at the Business School at SMU that bears his name. The school had a fine academic reputation. The faculty were first rate. The students were intelligent and engaged. But one thing he kept hearing from the corporate world was that MBAs from the top schools weren’t graduating with the leadership skills needed to excel in their careers. To address this concern, the Business Leadership Center (BLC) was born. Through innovative seminars and programs, the BLC provides ways for Cox MBA students to develop important fundamental skills among nine areas of emphasis: communication skills, customer innovation, interpersonal relations, managerial leadership, personal development, productive leadership, team dynamics, servant leadership, and corporate engagement through the Executive Speakers Series. These skills complement the curriculum at the SMU Cox School of Business.

In addition to creating a more robust academic experience, BLC seminars can also lead to career opportunities. Many students highlight the seminars they attend on their resumes or in interviews. Corporations realize that these students have received training that would cost them thousands of dollars to provide. This gives BLC MBAs an advantage over non-SMU candidates.


This mod, some of the most highly rated seminars include: • Fundamentals of Wealth Creation • Enterprise Profitability • Building Relationships in Consulting • Big Six Program: Journey with No Summit • Conducting Business in the Age of Globalization To see what additional seminars are being offered and to register, visit the BLC website (Cox Website → Centers and Institutes) or follow this link: Enter your student ID, and your initial password will be the first letter of your first name and your last name (all lowercase). If you have any difficulties or additional questions, contact the BLC at Today, it is critical for students to not only be intelligent but also smart about how they handle themselves in the workplace. The competitive marketplace requires managers to not only exhibit technical and individual success but also to display a high degree of personal leadership. We at the Business Leadership Center want to provide you with the tools to stand out as a leader in the corporate world. What are you waiting for? Register today and enhance your degree!


September saw the publication of the annual Economic Freedom of the World report, authored by James Gwartney of Florida State University, Robert Lawson of the SMU Cox School of Business, and Joshua Hall of West Virginia University, and published by the Fraser Institute. I assist in the assembly and construction of the report. The newest edition of Economic Freedom of the World includes several changes to our methodology which improve our accuracy in scoring and ranking 159 countries across the world. The index measures economic freedom, the set of institutions and policies advocated by economists and philosophers like Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill, and Milton Friedman. It uses an array of outside data sources, primarily from international organizations like the World Bank, to construct subindices for five areas of economic freedom – a limited size of government, the quality of the legal system and protection of property rights, sound money, the freedom to trade internationally, and a light regulatory touch. This new report corresponds to the year 2015. The report and complete data can be found online at Our greatest methodological change for this year has been the inclusion of an adjustment factor for the legal system and protection of property rights area to account for the disparate treatment by gender in certain countries. Our approach,

O'Neil Center Update

which was developed by TCU’s Rosemarie Fike, accounts for discriminatory laws which prevent women from taking part in markets at a fundamental level, such as legal impediments to getting a job or starting a business. Previous versions of the index did not explicitly account for this issue, thereby significantly overrating countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Qatar. Another finding was that the United States, as of 2015, has recovered to the score it held in 2009. It currently ranks 11th out of 159 countries, but it is still well below its 2000 level. Yet contrary to what many believe, most of the long-run decline can be attributed to the period 2000-2008 (8.62 to 8.17) rather than 2008-2015 (8.17 to 7.94). Meanwhile, although the world overall has been on an upswing throughout this period, every country in the G7 and nearly every country in the OECD have seen a decline in both the legal system and property rights area and the freedom to trade internationally area from 2000 to 2015. Whatever is causing the decline in the United States is likely also causing it throughout all major advanced economies in the world. And it is these components of economic freedom that appear to be most threatened by modern day political turmoil, not the extent of government spending, inflation, or the regulation of business. Overall, the top ten countries in economic freedom for the year 2015 are Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, Switzerland, Ireland, United Kingdom, Mauritius, Georgia, Australia, and Estonia. Canada, after having beaten the United States for several years, is now tied with the United States for eleventh place. The bottom five are Venezuela, Central African Republic, Republic of Congo, Algeria, and Argentina. Venezuela scores over a point and a half worse than the next closest country. We look forward to the possibility of further tweaks and adding additional countries in the coming year. Ryan H. Murphy is a Research Assistant Professor at the O’Neil Center for Global Markets and Freedom at the SMU Cox School of Business.

Ryan H. Murphy. 2015. “What Do Recent Trends in Economic Freedom of the World Really Tell Us?” Economic Affairs 35, no. 1: 135-150.



Embrace the Journey

When I showed up on campus for orientation in August 2016 it was one of the few times I can remember feeling somewhat intimidated. An MBA didn’t seem like a logical next step to most people who knew me, and I assumed all my classmates had years of work experience and knowledge unlike mine. In a sense, I was right. My classmates come from all sorts of backgrounds that make each one of them unique. It was May 2014 in Laredo, Texas when our manager, Pete Incaviglia, informed me that he was releasing me. He explained to me that, in a clubhouse full of older guys, I wasn’t performing to their level. I totally agreed. I had one more night at the Laredo La Quinta before I had to pack my stuff and go. Go anywhere. I no longer had a job, no more income, and no idea what I was going to do. When I woke up the next morning in Laredo I got a call from a team in Roswell asking if I would sign and how soon I could be there. I said “yes, and tomorrow.” I knew the pay was bad, but I wasn’t about to go home to live with mom and dad (even though I love them). So, I got in my truck and headed to Roswell, New Mexico. Before I mention Roswell, let me tell you, Independent League baseball is the wild west and as a 23-year-old kid I fit right in. None of my playing career was glamorous, nor will anybody really remember me for it, but I had a great time throughout the ride.

It was funny, I never thought about turning around and calling it quits while I was driving to Roswell. I knew I was driving toward a dead end in my career, but baseball was all I cared about at the time. When I arrived at the stadium in Roswell some of my teammates welcomed me, but some avoided me because when a new guy shows up - that typically means someone else just lost a job. I saw dozens of new guys show up that season, but in Roswell I felt fortunate that none of the new guys ever took my spot. I quickly realized that players are on a 24 – hour contract in Indy ball and you see teammates get released every day. Before batting practice our manager sat us down and pointed to me and said, “This is the new guy, Jackson. (Name hidden) had an incident last night, and I had to release him. He got picked up by the Fed’s today. They’ve been looking for him for a long time and he popped up on police scanners due to the incident from last night.” Interestingly, nobody reacted as seriously as I thought they would. They were just happy they weren’t the ones getting released. Welcome to Roswell. My first game with the club ended. I changed and grabbed some food on my way out of the clubhouse, but I quickly realized that I had nowhere to go. Fully prepared to ante up for a hotel in town, a lady named Misty said she was hosting some players and I was welcome to stay at her house until I could find a permanent place to live. She said that I may have to sleep on the recliner, which I was good with. Misty was a single mom with three boys living in a small house. Additionally, she hosted my teammates Pap, Simms, and JJ. Pap is from LA and had recently been released by the Dodgers. Simms and JJ are both from tough areas in Baltimore, and I forget why they both wound up in Roswell. Everyone has some reason as to why they wind up playing ball in Roswell. Typically, something went wrong along the way at some point, whether it be baseball related or not. For me, I simply ran out of options. I was the lone white kid living in a small house with seven other people. All of us stayed up late most nights talking about life and nonsense. I’m convinced that living in that house was one of the best things to happen to me. Sleeping on that recliner every night was a blessing. I had no choice but to get to know my new roommates because I slept in the center of the living room. We always had teammates over to our place after games, and I gained new perspectives because I had to sleep on that recliner in the middle of the house. After a few weeks of living at Misty’s house, a player got released and I took his spot at another family’s house. I finally got my own bed. This family had four

generations of their family living under one roof; well, two of the boys, one of which gave up his bed for me, were living in their camper out back. The guy I shared a room with was our catcher, Mike. Mike and I became good friends. His father was a marine in the Vietnam war and passed away a few years back. Mike became the man of the house and had to grow up fast. He is still one of the best dudes I know. As a player, Mike was a workhorse. After his intense pre-game routine he would catch all nine innings, and Mike would refuse if our manager tried to give him a day off. He had a tub of cooling gel which was intended to be used by race horses during training, and he applied it all over his legs before games to numb the soreness. Guys will do whatever they need to perform and stay on the field. My days in Roswell were all similar. I would wake up and head to Denny’s to drink my weight in coffee. Then I would meet up with Moondog to hop the fence to the golf course to play five or six holes. After that I would head to gym to meet teammates for a pre-game workout. We would all trickle into the clubhouse around 3:00 for pregame work and batting practice. Our game started at 7:00, and then most of us headed to Applebee’s for half-off appetizers and beers or a country bar on the outskirts of town. That became our daily routine throughout the season. That summer, roaming through New Mexico, Arizona, and west Texas helped shape me into who I am today. I learned from my teammates and I hope they learned from me, too. If “Man of the Year” by Schoolboy Q wasn’t playing in the locker room after a win, Simms would quickly fix that. Retzy’s locker was three down from mine. One day before a game he invited me over to his locker to try some of his doubles juice, which turned out to be a 24-ounce Jack and Coke (I think this was a one-time thing). Retzy hit a double and a homer that game, and I learned to never doubt the doubles juice. Moondog’s father is a Mormon bishop and he has his mother’s initials tattooed on the inside of his finger – she was a cancer survivor. He was extremely curious and engaged in daily conversations that really made me think about the how the universe operates. E had a big-time fastball to go with his fiery personality on the mound. He passed on his scholarship and signed with Seattle out of high school. He talked to me a lot, and is one of the most motivated guys I know. Seattle released him and that’s how he wound up in Roswell. He admitted that he wonders what would have happened if he would have gotten an education instead of signing with Seattle, but there is no roadmap for life when a six-figure bonus is thrown at you as a high schooler. J Dub was from rural Georgia,

and has his last name tattooed over his heart. Every day when he walked into the clubhouse he hi-five’d everyone on the team – great teammate. My man Sandy was from San Cristobal, Dominican Republic. He got released by Kansas City and wound up in Roswell. He left Roswell with an English vocabulary full of four letter words. In my broken Spanish I asked Sandy if his real name was, in fact, Sandy and if he was really 20 years old. He gave me a wink and a laugh before walking away. Banksy was our veteran in the clubhouse, but he was still relatively young. Every umpire in the league knew him by name for the wrong reasons, and he was a grinder. Long story short, Banksy got ejected one game and the umpires found all their clothes outside on the dirt when the game was over. Also, whenever a new guy showed up with an ego Banksy would tell him, “Cuz, you’re in Roswell just like the rest of us.” I was a big fan of Banksy. Water had an interesting personality, and we had similar senses of humor. In college, he beat a nearly fatal disease and went on to sign with Washington before getting released and winding up in Roswell. JJ, who I mentioned earlier, would swing by my locker every day with a coffee to talk about everything but baseball. We couldn’t have been raised in more different settings, but that is the beauty of baseball – it forms strong bonds between people of different race, ethnicity, religion, and viewpoints. Our season ended with a playoff loss, and two days later I agreed to drop two teammates off at the Albuquerque airport. The problem was that I had no idea what I was going to do after I dropped them off. I no longer had a job, and still did not want to go live with mom and dad. So, I dropped off my teammates and hit the road to Durango, Colorado and bounced around that area for a week or so before driving to Memphis to take a college pitching coach job.

Baseball is the ultimate boys club, and that’s what I miss most. There is no stronger bond formed than spending every day with a group of guys in Nowheresville, U.S.A. However, I became motivated to pursue an MBA and chase a career in something I knew very little about at the time. It was time for a change. I’m not going to say plans are overrated, because they are not. Everyone who is pursuing their MBA has a plan. However, I found that embracing a journey can lead you to where you want to go. Sometimes you just need to drive. The common ground I have with my classmates is that we are all driven individuals, and we all attended SMU with a similar purpose. In interviews and conversations, I sometimes find myself almost apologetic for lack of MBA quality work experience. My advice to future MBA candidates – don’t apologize. Your past is what shapes you, and I wouldn’t change mine for a thing.


Dearest colleagues, Thank you to all who care to read this. The support is greatly appreciated! In case you’re feeling hesitant about submitting an article, may I suggest using a pseudonym? That way you could get your ideas out there and also be protected by anonymity. The beauty of this publication is that nothing is set in stone. One day, I hope for there to be columns dedicated to poetry, philosophy, and various other categories. Even something as small as a haiku has a place in the journal. Always remember, "the more you learn, the more you earn."

Sincerely Yours,

Nicholas Davis