About Joshua Spodek: My background

April 3, 2011 by Joshua
in Blog

This post continues my About page.

My background

While finishing a PhD in Astrophysics at Columbia, I had the idea for an invention that led to co-founding my first venture, Submedia. I led it as CEO as long as my limited business experience allowed. Since then I got an MBA, also from Columbia, and have taken a strong interest in leadership and personal development from a perspective combining my entrepreneurial and scientific background.

I loved entrepreneurship and didn’t want my limitations to limit the ventures so I got the MBA. Though I went for what I thought were the basic business courses — economics, accounting, finance, marketing, and so on — I was most fascinated by, learned from, and developed most in the courses in soft skills — leadership, general management, consulting, and negotiation. I was also most humbled by them.

Business school changed my life. It opened me up to self-awareness and emotional intelligence. I had thought your abilities in these areas were limited to what you were born with, but I learned you could develop skills in areas like perceiving others, influencing others, motivating yourself and others, decision making, managing conflict, working in teams, and so on. In short, I learned you could develop self-awareness and emotional intelligence.

So I did. After school I continued to push myself to develop in these areas. This ongoing experience is as rewarding as any others in my life. As I succeeded I grew curious to understand why and how the techniques worked. I found that no matter how groundbreaking (for me) a technique seemed, it existed for thousands of years. Knowing and experiencing that something works is great, but no one seemed to explain why our how.

That’s how physicists work — when something is reproducible we expect to be able to understand why and how, and to communicate that understanding. We want to get at the foundation and be able to explain things that can be explained that way. Then we want to use that understanding to help improve our worlds.

The young and growing field of evolutionary psychology provided the foundation for that understanding. As I used my understanding to develop as a leader and personally and shared my understanding, I developed a coherent theory and method to apply it, then began to share it for criticism and comment.

Now I lead seminars in it (with a business or science focus) and have developed it into a semester curriculum.

(I create art that shows in galleries and museums and I’ve taught at Parsons and NYU-Tisch School of Art, but this blog isn’t about that. Here is my art resume. Please see my old page until I update this one or contact me for more about that.)

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