In Memory of Paul Lawrence, Renowned Scholar & Teacher

In Memory of Paul Lawrence, Renowned Scholar & Teacher

By: Mary Beth McEuen

If you look at the word cloud for this blog, you will see that the biggest name of all is Paul Lawrence. That is because Paul Lawrence was more than a scholar to The Maritz Institute, he was ourteacher and encourager. There are teachers who simply impart their knowledge through books, lectures, and articles.And, then, there are teachers who interrupt the life flow of the student. For me, Paul was the later. Itis with a heart full of gratitude and also sadness that I share thatPaul Lawrence passed away on November 1, 2011. The video that is posted reminds me of the legacy of Paul Lawrence.

Let me share just a few descriptions of Paul from the Harvard Business School Press Release:

  • Paul R. Lawrence, a renowned sociologist and a pivotal figure in the intellectual history of Harvard Business School who was one of the world’s most influential and prolific scholars in the field of organizational behavior.
  • “Paul Lawrence was an extraordinary person in all facets of his life,” said Dean Nitin Nohria. “He was a world-renowned scholar who throughout his long career reshaped our understanding of the human side of organizations. He was a beloved professor and mentor to generations of students and young scholars. Most important, he was always approachable—even humble—exemplifying in everything he did the true sense of what it means to be a teacher. I worked with him for many years as a colleague. Paul will long be remembered as a giant in the history of Harvard Business School, and he will be greatly missed by all of us who had the privilege of knowing and learning from him.”
  • According to Lawrence’s son, William (“Tad”), of Roslindale, Mass., “My father was a sociologist who was interested in organizations, not so much as businesses but as the central manifestation of the human cooperative venture. This was nowhere more evident than in Driven.”
  • Commented his daughter, Anne T. Lawrence of Oakland, Calif., “Dad was intensely curious. He loved tackling a new topic and learning as much as he could about it. He read widely in many fields, including neuroscience, evolutionary theory, anthropology, and history. He saw himself as a synthesizer, someone who could draw on many fields to craft a fresh way of looking at the world.” She added, “Among his very last words to me were these: ‘There is nothing as powerful as an idea whose time has come.'”

There is nothing as powerful as an idea whose time has come.

Paul’s rigorously researchedtheory aboutwhat drives human nature is a set of ideas whose time has come relative to creating businesses that create social value as much as they create economic value. Paul generously spoke to these ideas last August at a Client Event sponsored by Maritz Motivation where we entered into a dialogue on how to “Create True Stakeholder Engagement, by Design.” Paul shared his wisdom that “True Engagement” requires a Four-Drive Trust Code where business leaders strive to serve their stakeholder by:

  • Enhancing the other’s capacity to acquire resources and ensuring that rewards are fairly distributed based on merit (Drive to Acquire).
  • Helping toprotect others and their property while detecting and punishing cheaters (Drive to Defend).
  • Keeping promises rather than breaking them and seeking exchanges that are fair (Drive to Bond).
  • Telling the truth rather than lies and sharing information and insights rather than withholding them (Drive to Create).

He challenged us to focus on the drive to bond with emotional awarness expanding the circle of trust. He challenged us to focus on the drive to create with conscious cognition expanding the frontiers of knowledge. He challenged us to lead our organizations with four-drive solutions and trusting relationships in order to create a better world for all.

Are you in on this challenge?


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