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Executive Learning Networks Announce Fall Leadership Breakfast Speaker

KotlerSteven Kotler, New York Times best-selling author, innovation leader, Peak Performance Expert and co-founder and director of research for the Flow Genome Project, is set to speak at the Center for Executive Education’s annual Fall Leadership Breakfast Dec. 4 in Belmont’s Curb Event Center. Following a time of networking and breakfast, Kotler’s program will begin at 7:30 a.m. and be followed at 9 a.m. by a book signing. The $45 admission includes breakfast, the program and Kotler’s most recent book, The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance.

An award-winning journalist, Kotler also was co-author of Abundance, which was released by Simon and Schuster in 2012. Abundance received international praise and was named by CNBC as one of the Top 12 Business Books of 2012 and by Fortune as Top 5 Must-Read Business Books of 2012. Kotler is also the author of the Pulitzer Prize-nominated A Small Furry Prayer, the Pen-West finalist West of Jesus and the best-selling novel and winner of the 2000 William L. Crawford IAFA Fantasy Award, The Angle Quickest for Flight.

His articles have appeared internationally in more than 70 publications, and he writes “Far Frontiers,” a blog about innovation and entrepreneurship for, and “The Playing Field,” a blog about the science of sport and culture, for

Kotler is also the co-founder of Rancho de Chihuahua dog sanctuary, which has been nationally recognized for pioneering new methodologies in both hospice care for elderly animals and long term rehabilitation for special needs animals. Prior to this work, and alongside the LA Lakers and 826 LA, Steven was co-founder of the nonprofit, The Reporter’s Gym, a sports-writing camp for inner city high school students.

The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce and EO Nashville are Belmont’s community partners for this event. For more information and to register, visit here.


Author Malcolm Gladwell Reminds Executives, Students Importance of Legitimacy

malcolm gladwell-123-XLWhen not legitimized by authority, anger transforms underdogs into radicals, bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell told business executives and students on Friday morning as he captivated their attention with his narratives.

Belmont University’s Executive Learning Network and Parnassus Books brought the author and The New Yorker staff writer to the Curb Event Center on Friday for the Spring Leadership Breakfast.

Gladwell shared the story of New York socialite turned suffragist Alva Vanderbilt and her philanthropist daughter, Consuelo, intertwined with nuggets on Northern Ireland women who marched on armed British soldiers. His talk was pickled with modern day references to the Kardashians, Kanye West lyrics and the Sochi Winter Olympics.


Belmont, Parnassus Welcome Best-Selling Author Malcolm Gladwell for Leadership Breakfast

Malcolm Gladwell for Time Magazine by Bill Wadman, October 2008Belmont University’s Executive Learning Network, in joint partnership with Parnassus Books, will host bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell as the keynote speaker during its Leadership Breakfast on Feb. 21 in the Curb Event Center Arena. The Nashville Chamber of Commerce is a supporting sponsor of Gladwell’s appearance.

Gladwell is the author of five New York Times bestsellers including his latest, David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants and a staff writer for The New Yorker. He has been named one of the 100 most influential people by TIME magazine and one of the Foreign Policy’s Top Global Thinkers. He explored how ideas spread in the Tipping Point, decision making in Blink, and the roots of success in Outliers. With his latest book, David and Goliath, he examines our understanding of the advantages of disadvantages, arguing that we have underestimated the value of adversity and over-estimated the value of privilege.

“As the Center for Executive Education’s Leadership Breakfast series continues to offer valuable professional development opportunities, we are glad to have such a renowned journalist and author share his insight on social sciences and translate his findings into applicable principles for Nashville business leaders,” said Center of Executive Education Director of Executive Learning and Marketing Jill Robinson.

The Spring Leadership Breakfast is open to the general public for $45 per ticket, which covers breakfast, entrance to the program and a complimentary copy of Gladwell’s book David and Goliath. Attendees may register online here. Parnassus Books will also have copies of Gladwell’s other titles available for purchase at the event.

Event Schedule
6:30 a.m.              Registration & Networking
7:30 a.m.              Keynote Address:  David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants
9 a.m.                    Book signing

About the Center for Executive Education
The Center for Executive Education at Belmont University has been a premier provider of leadership education for more than 25 years, existing to provide world-class learning to meet the needs of the Nashville community and beyond. The Center provides a full range of executive learning opportunities including its Executive Learning Networks, Executive Leadership Experience, certificate programs and customized solutions. ELN membership consists of senior leaders from over 50 Middle Tennessee companies who seek to learn from one another and national leaders through ongoing networking, speakers’ series and small group discussions.

About Parnassus Books
Parnassus Books, an independent bookstore for independent people, is located in Nashville, Tenn. Co-owned by bestselling author Ann Patchett and publishing veteran Karen Hayes, Parnassus stocks the best selections of literature, non-fiction, children’s, local interests, and the arts. With over 250 author events a year, Parnassus continues to help grow Nashville’s literary community.

Ariely Discusses Irrational Behavior During Leadership Breakfast

Fall leadership breakfast 2013-189-LThe Center for Executive Education hosted Dan Ariely as the keynote speaker during its Fall Leadership Breakfast on Dec. 5 in the Curb Event Center arena. Presented in partnership with the Nashville Chamber of Commerce and Entrepreneurs’ Organization Nashville, the event explored how irrational behavior is a part of human nature as well as how emotions, relativity and social norms influence economic behavior.

Ariely began his keynote address with the story of how an explosion while he served in the Israel Defense Forces burned 70 percent of his body and kept him in a hospital for three years. During that time, he debated with nurses how to change the bandages of burn patients. They insisted on swift removal, which caused intense pain for a short period. Ariely preferred a slow peeling of the bandages, which lessened the pain but increased its duration, he said. After recovering from his injuries and pursuing higher education, Ariel began studying decision making through experiments that pinched fingers, made annoying sounds, radiated electrical shocks and changed body temperatures through suits running with hot or cold water. This led him to conclusions on why humans make systematic, predictable mistakes.

“The environment in which you are being placed makes a lot of the decisions for you,” he said. For example, in Denmark where drivers must opt-in to an organ donation program, the country has only 4 percent participation. On the other hand, Poland uses an opt-out form for organ donation and has 100 percent participation, simply because people do not like to fill out forms.


Executive Education Students Host Disability Baseball Camp

Middle Tennessee children with special needs will swing for the fences on Saturday at Greer Stadium when Dave Clark, the only professional baseball player to have pitched and played from crutches, hosts Disability Dream Day Baseball Camp in partnership with the Nashville Sounds. Belmont University Center for Executive Education students worked closely with the Dave Clark Foundation and the Sounds to launch the camp in Nashville.

“We are thrilled to work with Belmont University to bring the Disability Dream Day to Nashville for the first time,” said Clark, who contracted polio at 10-months-old yet went one to become a Major League Baseball pitcher and first baseman.  “The Nashville Sounds have stepped up to the plate to welcome Middle Tennessee’s disability community to Greer Stadium. Without a doubt, this will be an inspiring day for everyone involved.”

As part of the Belmont Executive Leadership program, executives enrolled in CEE are organizing, managing and facilitating the disability camp in partnership with the Dave Clark Foundation and the Sounds.  Among them are Belmont’s Director of University Marketing and Special Initiatives Annie Mitchell, Assistant Provost of Assessment & Institutional Research Tracy Rokas and Director of Undergradate Studies in Nursing Martha Buckner.

“The leaders who participate in our program are already making a difference in Middle Tennessee, but we saw this as an opportunity where they can further develop their leadership skills while impacting an important segment of our community,” said CEE Executive Director Gene Mage.  “We’re honored to play a role in bringing the disability camp and Dave Clark’s inspiring story to Nashville.”

In conjunction with the baseball camp, middle school students Jared Stevens and Justin Kievit will receive the Dave Clark: Pulling Each Other Along Award. The award honors the notable contributions of people who have helped individuals achieve their dreams under exceptional circumstances. Stevens, who has cerebral palsy, wrested Justin Kievit last fall and a video of their wrestling match received national recognition.

Click here to read about the event on the Sounds’ blog. Click here to view more photos.

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