There is a big trend for diversity, inclusivity, and equity in the workplace. Sadly, disabled individuals are not usually included in that conversation. Advocating for employing disabled individuals is Dr. Abraham Khoureis. He is a multi-talented thought leader with knowledge and expertise in a variety of business disciplines and academic settings. He discusses with Dr. Diane Hamilton why business owners should employ disabled persons and how they can make the workplace accommodating for them. When given the right environment, disabled individuals can do so much more. Join this conversation and fully capture inclusivity with Dr. Abe while he also takes us across his works in leadership and his podcast, ‘Keep It Real’ Leadership & Politics.
I’m so glad you joined us because we have Dr. Abraham Khoureis here. Dr. Abe, as I like to call him, is a compassionate leadership expert. He’s an award-winning mentor, leadership and politics global show host. He does about everything from having a SAG Hollywood agent licensed to writing about disability rights. We are going to talk about a lot of things.
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Leadership, Politics, Employing Persons With Disability With Dr. Abraham Khoureis
I am here with Dr. Abraham Khoureis, who is a multi-talented thought leader with expertise in a variety of business disciplines and academics settings. He’s got his show. I’ve been on it before. I’m very fascinated with his work. I’m so excited to have him here. Welcome.
Thanks, Diane. Thank you so much for having me and inviting me. I’m so excited to be with you. I’m honored to be on your show. As you know, you are one of my favorites. I’ve always believed that you are a trendsetter. You proved me right every time. I’m very honored to go on your show.
I am honored to have you on the show. It was nice to be on your show. In fact, I’m honored when I looked at your website. I noticed I’m on your website.
I’m very proud of you.
We’ve had a long time of knowing each other. I was trying to think about how we met. I’ll let you tell the story. I want you to get a little bit of backstory.
That’s 2012, I believe. It’s been years. We connected through LinkedIn. My alma mater is together with you. We didn’t just talk. We met in person in 2019. We’ve been supportive of each other’s work and fans of each other’s works. I’m the more fan of you, in what you do and the positive impact you have on society, your people and the people that you deal with. I’m very proud to be on your show. Everybody has a mentor and idol. You’re one of those silent ones that I admire what you do.Before success comes failure. We have to fail so many times to reach the level we want to achieve. Click To Tweet
I appreciate that. I admire everything that you’ve been working on. We had a nice time when we got to meet at the Forbes event. We’ve got a nice picture with Steve Forbes together. I want to get a backstory on you to lead up to where you are. You do a lot of the things that I do. You have a show as I do. You are a professor. You teach at different universities and different things the way I have with teaching business leadership, kinds of things that I teach. What led you to this point? Give me your backstory.
It’s very much similar. I’m very hard to define. If you’re telling me what you do, I give you my resume. You would say, “You do everything.” Faults, pain and mess up nothing, the point is we are good at what we do. If you put me in any discipline, you would see me ahead. Where did that come from? It’s an internal thing. It’s the eagerness to achieve and to become the best you can be. I am based in Los Angeles. From the beginning, I’ve always had a passion for being of service to others. I worked with that by either going through education, improving the level of education, know-how and self-development.
I had businesses as you have seen in my own, which is a very different type of discipline, whether they’re in insurance, in leadership, real state and notary schools. Anything to do with professional services, I have hands. I’ve been very much impactful in that discipline as well. Somebody would say, “This is Abraham talking about leadership but he’s also this and that.” Whatever you put me, I’m always been there. Hopefully, things got successful in that regard. I do everything. It’s very hard to define but I know where I’m heading. My vision is clear. It is to help others and be of service to them.
Did you have a family that encouraged you? Who encouraged you to do those kinds of things to look in different directions? I love the book Range. It seems like you’ve got a lot of range. Is that something that was in your genetics? Was it encouraged in your household? I’m curious about that.
I don’t think it’s at any distance. It’s been probably in previous generations. In my case, I’ve always been curious and eager to be the best I can be. Mind you, one thing though, I’ve never been once admitted my money. Meaning when I do things, I don’t improve. I don’t do it for the sake of making money. That’s not my intention at all. It’s nothing but do the job and be satisfied. It’s been the achievement of things. Let’s say, we finish a project over a degree or you have a business, that’s not enough for me. I need to go beyond that to do a different thing. Is it a psychological thing, innovational, genetic? I have no idea. I’ve never been in one position. I cannot be doing only one thing. That’s in my makeup.
My dad was like that. He was doing multiple things all at one time. I got a lot of that from him. When I was looking at your background, it seems like we share that kind of a thing. I remember being on your show. You have a Hollywood SAG and all this. You’re an agent, which I had no idea until I’ve been on your show. How did you get into that?
If I tell you what I have in a very modest way, you would say, “What is this? How did that become?” I’m going to jump back to the Hollywood agency, which I’m very proud to be a Hollywood SAG-AFTRA affiliated franchise Asian. Not only by license, which I do have the license for it. They have the credentials but also, they’re having a talent agency. I am the one you call a talent agent in Hollywood. I may have a certain influence. I may not but I am a talent agent SAG-AFTRA union agent. Very quickly in the past, I started cinema. I have a degree in cinema and television. With time, I morphed from production to representing professional talents. I do that on the fights silently as I do all the other things.
Let’s say we talk with somebody with our colleague professors, I would never tell them I am an agent. There is no reason for me to say that. I’m not an agent yet. I would never tell them I’m an investor, a real estate broker. I have a license, which took me how many courses and years to achieve. I would never tell them I am an insurance broker, real estate agency, I have a school and I’m certified to teach notary classes or I have a business that I established when I was twenty years old in 1995 or even before. Now, it’s 82% of the market. I have 22 products in that specific field where I help people to become notaries as a company. We do skit classes and we do the cities in another facility. We never talked about that. I haven’t mentioned it. I have so many other things. To go back to that talent agency is where we guide professionals to be with Hollywood production.
Would we recognize anybody who you’ve placed?
Probably not like a named Hollywood actress. Probably something that’s upcoming actors and actresses talent behind the scene that we work with. Sometimes if you have a certain celebrity or an executive coach, you don’t see the name, the people. I was lucky enough to work with some people who are considered successful and making an impact on society. By the way, I do consulting with them. I still guide them through being forced to go into what they do but also to serve others. I always bring passion to the equation, whether it is students, talent, clients or even friends. I always try to put extra into things and how it can be empathetic to others. If you ask me where that came from, I have no idea. It’s innate with me.
When you talk about being empathetic, it brings up your books. I wanted to talk to you about that since you write about emotional intelligence. I’m curious. Did you write about emotional intelligence for your dissertation or did you find emotional intelligence interesting later?
My Master’s degree once is in Art and Management. One of the books we read was about emotional intelligence. I wrote about emotional intelligence and I know its components, factors and takes. That’s in 2004. I was reading about emotional intelligence. I thought, “If this is an emotional intelligence, there must be something called emotional stupidity.” In my article on Forbes, I wrote about how to overcome emotional stupidity. If we can let leaders know such a thing exists, we can bring them to the balance between emotional intelligence and emotional stupidity. Emotional stupidity is when you make the wrong decision. Emotional intelligence is when you’re aware of yourself and are able to make the right decisions. My intention, aim and purpose are to bring leaders and people in general to the balance in between where they will be balanced human beings when they make decisions. It’s a wise decision and a balanced decision.
I’m curious as you’re saying that, do you have a model that you prefer? Do you lean towards Goleman’s model of how he looks at emotional intelligence, BarOn’s or the Mayer-Salovey? Do you have a particular frame of reference for the factors that impact emotional intelligence or you look at it in your own way?
No. Daniel Goleman is the father for emotional intelligence. He coined the term with others. Others also had something to do with the discipline but he brought it to bear for us to understand it. I was introduced to it through his book Emotional Intelligence. I’m a big admirer of the work he does. By the way, we’re connected with him on LinkedIn together. I have him as my network. You were lucky you got him. I haven’t gotten him yet on my show.
He was hard to get. He’s interesting because he’s into more of meditative mindfulness. It’s all that balance he’s trying to achieve in general. It was interesting when he was on the show. We talked about how he thought you needed a 360 evaluation to get a truly accurate picture of your emotional intelligence. I don’t know how easy it is to come by that in the real world sometimes because if you work in a small company, there are only many people you figure out who are telling me whatever. With emotional intelligence, it’s interesting. I love the fact that you can improve it. I found the same thing with curiosity, you can improve it. With your books, you’re talking about finding that balance and managing the high level of emotional intelligence and the low level, when you say emotional stupidity. Where do you think most people fall? Are they towards the high end of having emotional intelligence or towards the low end?
It depends on the status certainly of the individual. Their level of application, the exposure, the environment, what they’re exposed to if somebody couldn’t see as a very successful leader who is in a position of power but he has no emotional intelligence. He’d never been exposed to it. If you expose him to it, he doesn’t care to it. I would say most people at this time, with a higher level of leadership at least, they’re leading. The trend is becoming emotional intelligence and self-awareness. We know when you have self-awareness. You are aware of the environment. You become more mindful of the present time, so you’ll make any proper decisions. There’s a long way to let everybody. I may approach to it as to bring them in between. You don’t have to be very emotionally intelligent and know all the components. Know the basics of it.
Knowing where you are and knowing that you can improve is the most important thing. That’s what I was trying to do with curiosity with Dr. Maja Zelihic in Perception when we worked with that is once you know where you stand, then you can know how to get to the next level on what’s holding you back. That’s important. I had written my dissertation on emotional intelligence thinking, “This is a cute topic. This is going to be something interesting,” but I had no idea how big it would become. Are you surprised by how much it’s continued to stay in the spotlight?
It should be. I love the fact that it is continuing to be in the spotlight and should have more programs. I’m happy also we mentioned Dr. Danny, where he is having a program or two to help people to become better aware of their emotions, being empathetic, better communicators and self-aware through the program, emotional intelligence certificates. You mentioned Dr. Maja Zelihic. I can’t let it pass by admiring this beautiful being. She was wonderful. Also, we have Dr. Gilda Carle. I became a fan of them because of you. They’re wonderful people. I interviewed them. They’re unbelievably talented. I love the spirit and contribution to society.
For people who aren’t familiar, Dr. Maja Zelihic and I wrote our book on perception, The Power of Perception. Dr. Gilda Carle and I have a show and a company that we worked together on Your Media Docs. It’s helping people how to communicate and get in front of live audiences. It’s fun to be able to work with all these smart people. You’re writing books to help people build this intelligence and build a lot of the things that we’re talking about. That’s why I thought it was interesting to look back at one of your books that you wrote before these ones that deal with emotional intelligence. You wrote about Reasonable Accommodation. I’m wondering what led you to write about that.Be a leader in the workplace that cares for the disabled with an open heart. Click To Tweet
Reasonable Accommodation deals with advocacy for disabled individuals, especially in higher education. My PhD dissertation was about reasonable accommodation. I want to bring something before I go any further. On your show, when you bring all these talents, they talk about their success and what they achieved. Now I’m talking about achievements. I want to let everybody out there reading that before success comes failure, I have failed so many times to reach my level of wherever I’m at. It’s like I’m on a dream. I’m on Dr. Diane’s show. She’s interviewing me. We would be having a conversation. To be in this position, I worked so hard for it but I failed so many times.
You tell me, “You’re a realtor. You have a brokerage. You are a broker. You’re not just an agent.” I say, “Yes, but I failed so many times to be able to take that exam.” You’re telling me, “Your producer insurance.” “Yes, but I failed so many times.” “You have a PhD.” “Yes. I was dismissed so many times.” The point I wanted to bring in if there’s something out there and you haven’t achieved, fine. These mistakes or failures, as our mutual friend, Garry Ridge, would say, “These are learning moments. You learn and then eventually you will achieve. It’s okay to fail.”
When we go and talk about disability and reasonable accommodation, as you know in general, we’re lucky in California. We’re lucky in the nation. We have something called ADA, American with Disabilities Act, which make it a requirement for schools plus employers to have individuals with disability access. With that access, we give it a term, Reasonable Accommodation Access. This is the magic. I never told anyone that. I’m honored to put it on your show for your audience and for everyone out there. My research is one of the pioneers in the virtual space by law. You must have access to individuals physically. When they come to your office, you must give them 3 feet when they come into the door, large enough for the wheelchair to come through. That’s my law.
They must have a ramp and access it. If there are stairs, they must have some ramp and they will bring the wheelchair. My research deals with equal access and reasonable accommodation for the institution, higher education and employers in the virtual space. I have created a learning model for disabled individuals in higher education. If you are an employer or you are with educational institutions, if you employ that model, I would guarantee you that you would have a success rate of people with disabilities achieving and completing their degree. At this time, they would allow disabled individuals to come. If you give me the statistics, how many completed their degrees? They wouldn’t be shy to tell you a few, 2%, 3%.
My model is telling you, “No. They can achieve more if you create an environment for them, if you have a leader in the workplace that cares for them with an open heart, with a good heart, with an environment where you feed the environment with them, a positive attitude towards that disabled individual.” When we talk about inclusivity as a leader, the law says, you must give them accommodation. It’s true but if you don’t employ them, how come they have inclusion? We advocate that you bring them along and you’ll be positive to write them. My model is with factors that are intra and extra. With the intra factors, they deal with the persistency of the disabled individual.
When you say, “How many days or years have you been trying this?” “I’ve been trying this for years.” “You haven’t made it?” “No.” “You’re still continuing this way.” It’s internal persistency. There’s deviancy if the disabled individual has to be developed. One of the factors is resiliency. The other one is persistency. The positive attitude is with the disabled individual plus the professor or the teacher in higher education. They must be aware of the environment that this individual is faced in. I’m not saying the teacher has to know what the disability is for privacy reasons. What we’re saying is to give him the environment that is positive. Tell him, “You can make it. Don’t worry. I’m here for you.” Give him supporting comments and be sincere about it because he or she has limitations. This is another element.
The other element is the compassionate DSS system, meaning Office of Disability Support Services. They’re not there because they’re doing the job. They are there to help these individuals achieve. When we say support, you need to have very genuine support for those disabled individuals. In the extra factors, they play a part in the law. If you don’t employ these individuals and don’t give them a reasonable accommodation, you have litigation. We tell leaders, “You must be aware that is the law protecting this class of society.” The trend is diversity, inclusivity and equity. Sadly, nobody talks about disabled individuals when you include them.
When you say about diversity, you go to any employment. What percentages of the workforce are disabled? You can’t even find them. Not even probably a minus 1%. You go to school, education institutions where there’s even tons of funds and help. Where are the disabled? Don’t tell me that it’s a specific sector or section of society. Regardless of race, as you know, we don’t care for race. We don’t care for gender. We can be enemy unfortunately but as human beings, we deal with you. This is who we are. When you talk about disabled individuals in these environments, you don’t see them, whether it’s an education institution or employment.
I take this platform to let people who read your show be aware of who you are and your impact. Please employ people with disabilities. It’s the law. We understand that they’re costly because you have to spend the time. I said that on another show. Most people want to have people who perform. When you bring someone who is disabled, that’s going to hinder the process of you, performing. The end result matters. If you give them the proper environment, they would perform. The power of these individuals had matched. You saw someone without any legs and he jumps or finishes a marathon. Their inner power is unbelievable. They have to prove something. They have to say, “We make it. We can do it internally.” That drives the power and their strength to achieve better than someone who is non-disabled.
My father was born legally blind. With the whole number of people I’ve had on my show, I’ve had Erik Weihenmayer, Tanner and Garrett, all these people who’ve lost their sight, NBA basketball player and people like that who have inspired me of the things that they’ve done inspite of having a disablity. I know with my dad, all of his brothers went to Yale but he ended up going to Marietta in Ohio because the school was a little smaller. He felt a little more capable of being on the rowing team and things you could do being blind.
It was fun to talk to Erik Weihenmayer because he was talking about some of the technology that’s come out if you’re wearing some kind of glasses. You can call a number and they’ll tell you what direction where you are. Go this way, this many feet. There’s so much technology coming out to help people with self-driving cars and all the things that are happening. Education is getting better. I’ve been teaching since 2006 in the distance education realm. I’ve seen a lot more of the courses have different elements to them. Instead of just reading, they have reading and listening different things. What else do you think that they could do to improve?
Assistive technologies are essential. We know that they’re out in this business. You have to find out first what are the needs and see the product for them. You have the visually impaired. You also have the hearing impaired. What other can you find? When you put it on the market, please put it up at a low price and low cost if you can. I know that your market is not large enough. You have research and stuff. Try to find ways where you can put it at a lower cost so that everybody can afford it. Thanks to all the government that is helping somehow for those people who can afford it on a low income. What if somebody is not a low income and the government can’t help them?
That’s what’s enough to get these expensive assistive technologies where they assist disabled individuals to do certain things. We have technologies, which we went to another reel. In the old days, we have a wheelchair. That wasn’t the technology. At that point, it was a mechanical assistance method of helping this individual that cannot walk or to move from one location to the other. Now we have the internet. When we talk about the internet, what would you do? How would a visually impaired individual maneuver through the websites and finishes or had education online facilitates assistive technologies through these programs and software that will tap into what the individual lacks and help him or help her improve? It’s needed. Find what the needs are and create something. That’s my message to them.
That’s an important message. You do a lot of things to try to get your messages out. You have a show. You’re the creator and host of the internationally recognized and influential show Leadership & Politics with Dr. Abraham. I’m curious how you got interested in doing that. How long have you been doing it? A little backstory on that would be interesting to me.
I’m open to you because I want people to learn, be influenced and change for the better. I’m open about my mistakes, dismissal, disability, everything. With the show, I won the Mentor of the Year of the University of Redlands School of Business 2018-2019. I was invited to speak in front of those people about the mentorship program. I know behind the scene, I’ve always been good. Meaning, you come one-on-one. I would advise you and you will leave. When you talk with me, you take from me all this knowledge I have. I give you and I don’t hold back because I want to hold you so I can charge you again.
Money is not my motivator. I give you enough as a client, as a talent or student to improve behind the scene, one-on-one. We talk. They would go out and say, “This a good session.” Now I was put in a position to be a public speaker in front of a large crowd and an environment was an outside environment. That’s within a room where I can talk, not but then outside. What’s happened is I was invited to speak in front of a large crowd to talk about the mentorship program. Nobody knew this, I’m just opening to you with the experience. The thing is okay. You can improve and do something about it. The minute I was outside telling me about the mentorship program and, “Congratulations,” everybody clapped. I am there naked in front of everyone to talk about mentorship.
I don’t know if it was stage fright, I thought saying whatever it is comes to mind. I didn’t prepare anything. I normally don’t prepare like this interview. We spoke from the heart. I felt internally that I did not deliver a good message. I said, “What’s causing this. What I’m able not to deliver what I believe in?” In a private session, I would talk and impress everybody. I wanted to make an impact. I didn’t believe internally. I was self-aware that I did not make an impact. Next, I put myself to the task. I said, “I’m going to the public. I am going to say what I believe in and what people should know. I’m going to put a show.”
I had a show. I start interviewing people. Since you know me before and now, I am more self-confident. I express my thoughts better. I’m able to tell what I believe and what I talk about without any hesitancy. There are no self-doubts anymore. That’s what I did. That was the primary reason why I want it to be in the public eye. I said, “I can do it. Why I wasn’t able to deliver?” The point I want to make is I was behind the scene all my life. I was letting the institution thing that cut it is. I was letting the company take the credit but I’ve never had the brand for me, for myself as an individual. Although you were the one who make it, made it happen and camouflage it under a company name but later they said, “It goes to you.” When I was put on the front line in the public line, I wasn’t able to deliver a reflection on that. I said, “Let me create a brand.” Dr. Abraham’s course was born. That’s the real story before I have the show.
Why politics? That’s bold the way everybody’s having issues getting along. How has that been?
No success with politics at all as about leadership. Nobody wants to talk about politics. I’m telling you. Behind the scenes, they told me. I started to realize I was so naive about that. I want to talk about politics and change people’s social pain. We have a society that’s all for money. I start realizing that people would not talk about things in public because of the backlash. Probably I’m not going to get into politics as well unless it’s a positive thing. I’m a big fan of humanity in general. I don’t care if you’re a Republican or Democrat. They mean okay. They were formed because of reasons. They make society better and with anybody.
At one time, I wrote an article. I believed COVID, as we know came to teach our leadership a lesson in humility. I believe at that time, we still have it worldwide anyway. When I talked about leadership, I didn’t mean a country. I meant worldwide, global. I don’t think it’s the US only. I think it’s everywhere. I said to teach leadership a lesson in humility, someone took it personally. She’s a very beautiful individual. She said, “I’m very saddened to know that you believe this way.” I said, “I didn’t mean that it’s personally. That’s not my intention.” Somehow, we disconnected. That was the first inkling that politics and religion when they say, “Don’t talk about them,” don’t talk about them.You can use politics as a means to generate peace for the people. Click To Tweet
When Steve Forbes was on my show, I asked him about that. He said, in the past, he used to be able to talk about politics at dinner and then people would talk in a friendly back and forth. He didn’t have to agree on kind of way. Now, you bring it up and the whole party’s over. That’s it. You can’t even talk about it. It’s bad. I’ve had some politicians on the show. Steve ran for president. I’ve had Andrew Yang. I’ve had both sides on the show but I don’t focus on politics. I had to give you credit for attempting that.
That’s my intension. I wasn’t going to delve into it. I’m rethinking what would be the topic if I ever have someone. I was also thinking of another idea. I am into sitting peace, meaning world peace. I don’t know if that’s going to even exist. I was thinking of bringing the foreign minister of Iran into my show or talk to the Biden administration being someone. I want to create an environment where there is peace between the parties. If a show like mine can do that, it will bring the people, talk about it and then have the freedom to express what the issues are, what’s lacking. I am not in the economy. I don’t care much about the economy. It doesn’t matter. The key is I’m not interested in the politics of the Iranians.
I am interested in the peace that we can generate for the people. We have hostility. Why should we have hostility? This is where my thinking of politics is. It’s to go deeper than have a politician to come and give me an agenda of this party. I’m not interested in that. I’m interested of how to serve humanity through the platform I have. Probably I’d be aiming toward that thing or probably bring religious call, whether from the Christian faith, Jewish faith, Islamic faith. Bring them together on the show and talk about religion. We will talk about religion but not offending everybody. We’ll bring the best of what religion is all about.
You’ve probably titled enough leadership courses that you get into ethics in your courses. I used to teach an ethics course where we would bring up certain things. When you talk about ethics, you’ve got counterpoint arguments. There are some heated debates. I’m teaching a course where students are talking about marketing, whether they can go into certain areas of the world, what the complications are and if it’s worded in a way that somebody might take it in offense. I’ve never seen a time where people take offense to things that may be had not the most negative intention behind it. Do you think that it’s a hard time to have these kinds of conversations?
I’m a core faculty. You know what core faculty is? I didn’t know it before they gave me that title.
They called us full-time faculty at Forbes. What’s core faculty there?
There’s an adjunct faculty but there’s a core faculty, which I attained. It’s an expert in the field. They hire to talk about certain things but they also teach a class. I didn’t know what the term meant before.
With the adjunct, they’re part-time but they’re not on a full-time schedule. Are you full-time then with them?
I can get full-time for my work. They gave me a core faculty with an expertise. It’s probably with my institution. You’ll have the adjunct faculty. Probably the core faculty is still adjunct faculty but in between. The adjunct faculty is a part-timer. It’s in between. You’re an expert in the field with higher pay. You can teach 2 or 3 classes at the same time versus in adjunct, you can teach only one course. In this semester, I’m teaching two courses. Before you can do it but because of the title and the new credential, you may teach. What I am doing in these courses in terms of your question is yes, there are difficulties. I told my students, “Ethical is when you do the right things when no one is looking, no one is watching.”
I did a debate in one of those courses. I did a debate between the two teams. We talked about the pros and cons of virtual teams. I didn’t think it was politics. I referred within the class learning environment. It’s not the political class, politics or law class. I think those are different. Mine is organizational behavior management. That debate was about virtual teams, the importance of it, the pros and cons. It was a very vibrant debate. I hope everybody enjoyed it. I enjoyed listening to them. I also have judges. I was the person watching. They were the one who graded themselves. They gave them the pros and cons of each team, what they’ve done in each team.
I wanted to let you know that because of the internet and this new revolution, we call online education. In the past, you probably took a course online. I’ve been on both. I went to the campus, plus I went online. In the past, if somebody said they had an online education, it wasn’t inferior education. It was something you can say, “I went online.” Unknowing to all, it wasn’t innovation. We would have to embrace innovation in education. Online education isn’t innovation. You take it or leave it. COVID proved it. I always have to do something different. I’m not the traditional teacher. I give the lecture or the cases. I give everything but I also added something else. I morphed these courses into a leadership retreat. In my last class, I brought Garry Ridge. He came as a guest speaker on the show. I brought John Spence, a performance guru. Also, I brought our dear friend, Dr. Maja. I have the lovable, Carla Johnson. You interviewed her.
Where do you get your inspiration to find people? Do we have a coincidence that we interview some of the same people? How do you find people?
I don’t see who you interviewed but probably we have some people in common like Dr. Maja when I interviewed her. She is a good friend. I don’t go to shows and say, “I want to interview this.” It just happened what my topic is. In the class, we talk about performance and organization with the purpose, I pleased people to have an objective. That objective must be met through a performance. I brought in John Spence to talk about performance and the pattern. What I do is I choose the topic and I see who’s the best in the business. I based them along.
I’m going to give you a scoop. I have a Dr. Dave Aldrich. He’s the Father of Modern HR. He’s going to come, share his knowledge and insights with a student. How humble of him to say yes, come to the students and enlightened these students to be the best they can be, also to make them future leaders that they would think. What I’m saying is the teacher also plays a part in the life of his or her students. I don’t have to do all of this but I’ve never had that when I was a student. I wanted to create an environment that is different, an environment that cares about its people. In this case, if I was a supervisor, I would care about my employees. I am a teacher, professor. I care about these individuals for them to be the best. I am able to improve their lives. Why wouldn’t I do it? It’s not for my glory. I care less about what I would learn. It’s what they would learn.
Do you have synchronous classes where everybody’s on at the same time?
I have both of them. I am unfair to them but I gave them until 10:00. They are so tired. I let them listen to the lecture before. I let them do homework. We’re supposed to leave at 8:00. They leave at 9:00 or 10:00. So far, no complaints but I want to cut on that. I want to give them more break. What I’m thinking is it’s an opportunity that they would not have somewhere else.
I teach for many different universities. I’m teaching a course at a technology-based school where they have me do 2 hours, 1 hour twice a week. I am available for whatever reason on teams. They use teams instead of Zoom. What I find is the students love it. I don’t like to do synchronous classes. I like to be able to do it at 4:00 in the morning. The stuff I like is not what other people would like. The interaction with the students is wonderful. I learn a lot from them. They’re so high-tech that maybe they don’t know the business like I know business but they know the technology. You can’t believe it. They told me the best virtual reality classes and things to try out. That’s the stuff I love to learn that I wouldn’t have learned if I didn’t teach those courses. I’m teaching them leadership and how to run companies, entrepreneurship. Do you prefer synchronous or asynchronous?
I am for both. Either one would work with me but I need to give them my feedback. If you combine them as the plan, I give them a 45 minutes lecture to listen to them. They can do a quiz before class that’s 60 minutes. I bring them in at 6:00.
How long were your courses? How many weeks?
I teach everything from 5 to 12 weeks depending on the school. It’s fun teaching for different universities to see how everybody does it. I love the five-week courses. They fly by. My favorite is 5 or 6 weeks. It’s a good length. That’s a lot of lectures to come up with for eight weeks.
You have to give them more than one chapter in one night. Is that something you do too?
The courses where I teach, we don’t do lectures like that, except for that one hour twice a week thing. It turns out to be a lecture but I’ve talked to. I interview them like this because I’ve been working.
You do like an executive degree. Is that what it is?
I taught everything. Mostly I teach graduate-level, Business Leadership courses, those types of things. I used to be a Doctoral chair as well. I got them through their dissertation. I’ve taught as MBA program shared for school business. I did that. I’ve done every kind of teaching. My favorite courses were the first-year undergrad students, the very first course they took. That led to me writing my book on online education because I was fascinated by that. I ran an online education site as the editor-in-chief. I am a huge fan of being able to learn, not have to park, drive and deal with all this stuff of going to class. I think undergraduate is a good thing to go to a traditional campus. I did my undergrad at ASU and it’s a good experience. Once you’ve had that experience, the flexibility of not having to go to night classes, it’s tough for people and their families. I’ve never asked you. Do you have a family? Tell me a little about you.
With the PhD level, it would be a waste of time if you go to the campus. It’s research-based. You’re going to meet with a mentor or share the time but not with online with Zoom or Webex. Who cares to go to the physical location anymore? I would recommend if somebody say, “What do you recommend online PhD or in-person PhD?” Go to online. Don’t waste your time. You’re doing the research. The mentor there or the chairperson is to guide you. He could guide you through the old days that you said, “I just do the phone.” We used to make a phone call. I had a wonderful chairperson. I had many of them because I was dismissed so many times. I had 3, 4 or 5 chairpersons.
Denny Bev was on my committee.
I love Dr. Denny Bev. What did she do on your committee? Was she one of your mentors?
She was one of my co-chair. She wasn’t my chair. She’s the biggest name in online education.
Did you interview her? You should interview her.
I’ve asked her. I don’t know if I’ve ever been able to connect at the time. I was going to have her do a program review. She was traveling. That’s the last time I talked to her. I had a guy from BYU on my committee. That was my external chair. I had a great Doctoral experience. It’s got to be individual for everybody of how they want to do it. It’s fun that we have so much in common with all the teaching. I have a real estate license. I’m not an agent though.
This is something else. I’m proud of what you do. If I may, I want to give a shout to Dr. Denny. I love Dr. Denny. I see that to people. I tell you, I care for you. I love you. When I say I love you, I mean it in a good way. I love Dr. Denny. She’s one of those people that have a good soul. I love Dr. Kelly Walters, a wonderful individual. I don’t know if you know her or not.
I don’t know her but I heard of her. There are many great names in the business. It’s fun to get to meet, know all of you. This has been so much fun having you on the show, Dr. Abe.
Let’s give another shout to Dr. Andrew Carpenter. He’s one of the best in the business, a philosopher that has to be discovered. I’m a Pisces. I didn’t tell you what I do. I’m very hard to catch, very hard to lead but he was able to lead me to shore this individual, this beautiful man. I call him Dr. Andy.
Was he your doctoral chair?
He was. He brought me to shore. I’m sled, misguided everybody and blame myself for everything. He’s a Pisces. I am March 08. He’s March 08. He knew how to bring this fish to shore. That’s unbelievable.
It sounds like you have an amazing career. A lot of people are going to want to follow you. How can they find your books, find your work or find your show? Is there some main website?Great teachers enlighten their students to be the best they can be. Click To Tweet
It’s DrAbeKhoureis.com. I can be found on LinkedIn and Twitter at @DrAbeKhoureis as well. I do. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to talk to you. I am honored. I’m one of the lucky few that had interacted with you so many times.
We’ve had a long time talking. This is a lot of fun, Abe. Thank you so much for being on the show.
I’d like to thank Dr. Abe for being my guest. We get so many great guests on this show. I hope you enjoyed this episode. I hope you join us for the next episode.
- Dr. Abraham Khoureis
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- Leadership & Politics with Dr. Abraham
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About Dr. Abraham Khoureis
Dr. Abraham Khoureis is a multi-talented thought leader with knowledge and expertise in a variety of business disciplines and academic settings. He founded and operated several businesses and currently holds numerous professional State licenses and credentials.
He earned a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Business Administration, emphasis in Management and a Post-Graduate Degree respectively from Northcentral University, San Diego, California; a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Management and a Bachelor of Science in Management respectively from the University of Redlands, Redlands, California.
He was honored by the University of Redlands (Redlands, California) as the 2018-2019 Mentor of the Year. He successfully completed two leadership programs with Harvard Business School Online: Entrepreneurship Essentials, and Sustainable Business Strategy. Currently, he is a Core Faculty / Professor with the University Of Redlands School Of Business, where he teaches graduate-level business and management courses, i.e. Management and Organizational Behavior; Leading Individuals and Teams; and Organization Theory.
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