George P. Moschis (Javelin, 1966-April 1967)
(The only foreign athlete coach Chuck Rohe recruited to UT)
Summary bio (from GSU’s website)
George P. Moschis is Alfred Bernhardt Research Professor of Marketing and the founding director of the Center for Mature Consumer Studies (CMCS) at Georgia State University. He is also a visiting professor at Mahidol University, Thailand, where he has founded and directed the Consumer Life-course Studies Group (CLSG), a global network of academic researchers. Dr. Moschis’ research is globally known to academics and industry, and his CMCS been recognized over the years by American Demographics as one of the best sources of marketing information in the United States. As a guest of various types of organizations around the globe, Dr. Moschis lectures annually in several countries in the five continents and is considered by practitioners as one of the world’s foremost authorities on topics related to consumption habits of different generations. His list of publications includes hundreds of peer-reviewed articles and papers, dozens research monographs, and seven books. Based on his impact on academic research, he has been cited as one of the most influential figures in consumer research today.
Ranked 2nd in the world in “juniors” class (1963)
Member of the Greek National Team (1962-1965) and the 1964 pre-Olympic team.
Ranked 1st collegiate freshman in U.S. (1966)
2nd in USTAF and 6th in AAU Nationals (1966)
1967 Winner (setting new records) in FL Relays, KY Relays, and Penn Relays
Coached national champion Bill Skinner (and defeated him twice in major track meets :-)
B.S in Marketing (UT, 1969)
M.B.A. in Marketing (Georgia State University, 1971)
Ph.D. in Business Administration (University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1976)
University of Wisconsin—Madison and Milwaukee (Lecturer, 1974-1977)
Georgia State University (Assistant Professor, 1977-1980; Associate Professor, 1981-1984; Professor, 1985-present).
Best College of Business Professor Award, 1987
Founder and Director of the Center for Mature Consumer Studies (1986-present)
Holder of the Alfred Bernhardt Professorship (1997-present)
Founding Director of Consumer Life-course Studies Group (2011-present)
Consultant to numerous corporations, government agencies, and universities in U.S. and abroad.
Visiting professor in several universities around the globe.
Author of hundreds of peer-reviewed articles and papers, and seven books.
Several awards and recognitions for contributions to academia and industry.
Frequent contributor to media, speaker in business forums, and guest of national and international TV networks.
My philosophy on what it takes to succeed in any field
Bases for my views on ingredients for success:
--Coaches (e.g., coach Chuck Rohe)
--Successful professors in my field
--Successful colleagues at the University of Wisconsin and Georgia State University.
--Successful businessmen (focus groups with dozens of self-made millionaires, as consulting assignments for American Express)
--Acquaintances and interactions with numerous Olympic champions and world record holders (e.g., Bob Richards, Al Oerter, Chris Papanicolaou, Jesse Owens, Al Cantello, Carlo Lievore, Pauli Nevala) and other successful athletes from several countries.
Messages to new generations
My definition of “success”
In my view, success is not merely reaching a goal set by you or others (e.g., breaking a record, making so much money, or achieving fame), because we tend to adapt to the levels of our accomplishments and continue to compare our performance to those of others who have accomplished more. Rather, your sense of success derives from your ability to perform beyond the levels you or others think you are capable of performing—the more you can exceed these levels the greater your sense of success and satisfaction with your accomplishments. I have learned that the most successful people in all walks of life do what they do not for the glory or the money, but they do it because they want to get the best out of themselves (and if you do this, others will recognize you as a successful person).
Ingredients of (recipes for) success:
Plan your work(out) and work your plan. Successful people have “to do” lists. I am thinking of Coach Rohe’s long yellow pads with his list of things to do, of my former teacher/mentor at UW who would write a new book every year because he would take one hour out of every day to write just one page, and of a self-made millionaire (that I interviewed with a former GSU colleague) who had a plan for every hour of the day—even the time he was supposed to go to the bathroom (the results of this and other interviews with self-made millionaires are in my colleague’s best selling book titled, The Millionaire Next Door).
2. Strive for perfection
We not only take pride in things we do well, but we also come across as competent and flawless, and that is much appreciated and admired by others. Cutting corners, doing a sloppy job, or finding excuses not to do our best eventually shows up in the results of our efforts. You don’t get to the top, unless you can conquer and correct those things that keep you from getting to the top. You may want to read the book that inspired Lou Holtz and to which he attributes his success as a coach, The Magic of Thinking Big, written by Dave Schwartz, my former GSU marketing colleague.
3. Making an extra effort
or as Bob Richards says in his book, The Heart of a Champion, “putting out that extra bit that makes the difference between success and failure, a winner and a loser.” It might surprise you to know that the reason I was able to pursue an academic career (if you consider it as “successful”) is because I spent an extra 20 minutes reviewing my notes before an exam, rather than taking this time to watch TV at Gibbs Hall lounge. The material that I reviewed was on the exam and helped me get a B (instead of a C) in the course, which raised my GPA to 2.5 (the absolute minimum required to get into the MBA program that helped me get into the doctoral program at UW).
Keep a positive attitude regardless of setbacks or disappointments. I have not met a successful person who had not experienced major setbacks previously in his life. We learn and grow from our bad experiences as we do from our good experiences. And I believe that when something bad happens, it creates new opportunities and horizons for doing bigger and better things. Failing to pass 8th grade in high school forced me to study harder and become a better student, good enough to be admitted into the university. Failing to pass my major Ph.D. exam twice, and “politely” being asked to drop out of the program (when I was asked to publish two articles in the two top journals in my field in order to continue my studies, something that had never been previously done by a student), forced me to learn how to do good research and publish multiple articles during my studies and later in my academic career. Even dislocating my shoulder upon my graduation from UT proved to be a “blessing” because it kept me from going back to Greece and following an athletic “career,” forcing me to do something else with my life. Every bad experience I had was to my benefit, so having a positive attitude when facing adversities helps , which leads me to the next ingredient.
5. Have faith and confidence
in what you can do. You should not be disappointed, no matter what happens. I believe that all of us have unlimited physical and mental potential that, unfortunately, we fail to reach during our lives. When I first stepped on the track at the age of 15, at 5’9” and 160 lbs, I had neither the speed nor the strength or endurance required to do well in any event. And when I tried to throw the javelin, others (including coaches) were laughing at me—nobody thought I could do it But I knew that Al Cantello, who was shorter than me, had broken the world’s javelin record that same year, and that helped me in believing that I could throw the javelin. Find good role models in sports or business, study them well, “copy” them, and adorn them. They will help you build your self-esteem and keep you going, as they helped me.
6. Welcome competition
Competition forces us to make the extra effort to “keep up” with those of equal or better abilities; it forces us to get the most out of ourselves and improve our performance. If you are competing with others of equal talent, don’t you dare doubt that you will not beat them. And if you are competing with those of much greater talent, try not to let them beat you by much, and at the same time try to learn something from them (opportunity to get some “tips” from them, such as their workout schedules, what they do for speed and strength).
7. Stay focused
I think that this is very important, whether you think of sports, business, or academia. If we spread out our resources (time, effort, money, etc.) to several areas (events, specialties, tasks), we end-up performing less than optimally in each of these areas than if we invest all our resources in one specific area. And most importantly, choose a field that you have or could develop passion for it. I don’t think that you will succeed in an area where thinking and working is a “chore” to you, but I can guarantee you that you will be successful in any field or subject you have the passion for.
In sum, I am flattered that some of my former teammates and members of the Coach Rohe Era consider me as “successful, ” but much happier because they have given me the opportunity to share my views and experiences with those who took the time to read them. If they see merit in any of them, I hope they can use or pass on to others that could benefit from them. My messages would be particularly helpful to young men or women with the odds against them, as they were against that little foreign guy from Greece—who lacked of physical abilities (newspapers and magazines often referred to him as “the midget javelin thrower”), who couldn’t even pass 8th grade in his native language and couldn’t speak a word of English, but ended up accomplishing more than he or others ever expected of him. If he can be successful under those circumstances, then those who are presently facing better circumstances have the potential of becoming even more successful than him. Go for the gold!
What a day, every day!