Meet Dave Fuehrer.
Dave’s father, Craig, was a brilliant guy, a lifelong innovator for the Du Pont company, a winner in every way (and a Purple Heart from Vietnam to prove it) until he lost a battle with cancer, and the world—and Dave—lost him.
Dave inherited his dad’s passion for innovation. He has helped launch new products around the globe, managing innovations for such companies as Dow, GE, Ingersoll Rand, and Pfizer Consumer Healthcare, and taught the essence of what he does at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT).
Also like his father, Dave had his own battle with cancer—twice, in fact. He emerged not only a healthy man but a wiser and more purposeful one. (No wonder his business is called Emerging Space.) “Learning from my pain to help others,” says Dave, “gives my life purpose.”
This fall, when Dave stepped into the classroom at RIT to teach his course on Digital Entrepreneurship, he brought a little red book with him.
Dave is one of a whole parade of educators who have pioneered a movement I think of as “Pindar in the Classroom” (after Pindar, the mentor figure in The Go-Giver). Here are just a few others:
- In 2009 the book was picked up by Randy Stelter, a high school English teacher and athletic director in northwest Indiana (go Hoosiers!). Randy started teaching it to his students, saying it would help give them perspective on “what it’s going to take to be successful in the real world.” He has taken his school’s senior class through the book every year since since.
- Tim Peterson, a college dean and professor of management at the University of North Dakota, used it with his advanced leadership students at their annual retreat.
- Bill Shuster, a management professor at the University of Colorado, used it in a leadership seminar he team-taught with the university’s legendary coach Sunny Lubick.
- This fall a whole city adopted The Go-Giver as the inaugural book to study in their new city-wide book club.
- And this month we were contacted by the HR director and superintendant of an entire Texas school district, who said they were interested in exploring what role the book might play in their district.
“Okay,” we said, “it’s time we did something here.” The demand for an organized curriculum guide had become strong enough, we figured, that we ought to carve out the time to team up with Randy and produce one ourselves.
So we did. Here it is.
The Teacher’s Guide offers a detailed lesson plan that includes vocabulary lists, assigned readings, questions for comprehension and critical thinking, extensive topics for class discussion, and a set of final projects designed to deepen students’ understanding of the book and to ground its lessons in their own everyday experience. Designed as a high school curriculum, the Guide’s content and approach can also be readily adapted for use by college professors in higher-education settings.
I have a picture in my head; my wife Ana does too, and so does my coauthor Bob Burg, and his business partner Kathy Tagenel: millions of students in classrooms around the globe, absorbing the lessons of Pindar’s Paradox: the more you give, the more you have.
I can’t think of anything more gratifying
Over their three months-plus in RIT MGMT-360, aka Digital Entrepreneurship, Dave Fuehrer’s students steeped themselves in the ideas of The Go-Giver, networked with industry experts, and designed their own digital startups. Their business ideas varied widely but all had this theme in common: the goal was to make a difference.
As Pindar says, “There’s nothing wrong with making money. Lots of it, in fact,” and his friend Ernesto completes the thought: “‘Does it make money?’ is not a bad question. It’s just a bad first question. The first question should be, ‘Does it serve?’”
And if you’re wondering whether Dave’s students got that lesson, just watch:
Film by John Sabia of www.socialitize.it.