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Pepperdine | Graziadio Business School

About Dr. Darren Good


Honestly, it's changed everything. I don't know what kind of teacher and professor I would have been without it. So it's entered my life and everything that I've known about what teaching could be, what students could be, what community could be. What community building could be. Has been expanded beyond my wildest imaginations having been a part of this program.

My students are some of my favorite people on this planet, and I'm not saying that lightly. I'm not exaggerating, I'm not making that up and I'm not stretching that. It's not a marketing campaign, it's just the truth. I don't now what it is about this program that brings such amazing people together, but it's opened up my understanding of what teaching can really be.

I would have been a, I think a pretty standard MBA or undergraduate teacher, just teaching normal classes, and I probably would have been fairly fulfilled and it would have been okay. And I would have led a pretty good life as an academic, but this is the thing that has unleashed my understanding of human potential, of community potential. Yeah, it's one of those great honors of my life and truly my favorite activity I get to be a part of.

I don't know what it is honestly, I think, it's partly the field, attracting certain kinds of people who want to make a difference who want to get involved in change, who have an orientation to help the human experience. I think all that's kind of... so there's like the kind of person's attracted to it, but then, something seems to happen here in the community that I've never seen before in an academic setting.

And I've been a part of good ones, really good academic settings, but nothing compared to what happens here. I think it's one of those places where people, they come here to learn about the field, about the practice, to gain some new tools and skillsets, but in reality, what ends up happening is that they end up going through a sort of transformational experience with each other. And as a result of it, they're bonded for life.

I hope that people see me as someone who really tried to bring out the best in them. I hope that I've made people feel good in the moments that I've talked to them. I hope that some times I may have expanded the way people have thought about themselves and their possibilities for their lives at work and elsewhere.

I hope that my students see me as a faculty member and a friend. Yeah, and I hope they see me playing, even a quarter as much of a role as I see them playing in contributing to this community that I think we all love and think is pretty special.

Yeah, so ten years, I'm just trying to think how old I'll be and what the year will be. Yeah, I can think of it in a couple different ways. I see work, the world of work, the world of the organization and the organizational life as a place that can be really difficult, and trying and painful. And sometimes can bring out the worst in the human condition, as people kind of fight for resources and their place in the system, and their place in terms of power and influence.

And it can also be on good days, in good moments, a place of amazing creativity, imagination, it could blow your mind. You can feel like anything is possible, and my, I hope my legacy is that I, in the next ten years, contribute in some way to helping people, helping people have more better days at work.

I want people to show up to work, be the very best versions of themselves they can be, to enjoy what they're doing, and to create conditions for other people to do the same. And I know our students go out and try to make a difference in the lives of people and organizations and I hope I contribute to that in some way.

I also have intellectual interests, in giving people tools, techniques, and research that supports people becoming more intentional in the work they do. Whether it be around strengthening people's attention, making them more mindful, giving them the capacity to be more present, more connected, and therefore being able to choose more intentionally, more meaningfully, and support themselves and other people in a way that is the best for the world.

I can say that when I'm with the people in this program, like this weekend for instance, but I'm with the program, there is this sweet sweet combination of joyous laughter and serious debate meeting each other head on. So when we're together, there's laughter and giggles, and it's like belly roar laughter. A lot of the time, alongside being super serious, committed to our craft, committed to excellence, committed to growth and development, of ourselves and each other. And it's that sweet spot between there, to me, that is my greatest joy in life.

And I get this from the program more consistently than just about anywhere else I can imagine.