When our division head informed us that Gary Latham was visiting us, we had no idea who he was and I thought, “Oh yay, I have to suddenly take time out of my week again.”
But when I researched him and found out who he was, I was shocked that he’ll even come visit us! And although I wasn’t familiar with goal-setting research, I realize that when you read about goal-setting out there in general (people’s blogs, etc.), most of the advice came from his (and Locke’s) findings! Cool!
Then when I went to Gary’s colloquium, I was blown away. Literally BLOWN AWAY. Not only is he incredibly smart, he’s very personable and charismatic. He was so funny and he pretty much told a story of his life and how he ended up with the findings for his research in a very entertaining manner. The slides sucked but he made up for them big time (the slides were made by one of his graduate students and he hasn’t even seen it until that day). If he didn’t have the personable sides to him, he would’ve come across as cocky for sure. But let’s be real, if you’re THAT BIG of a deal, you’re 100% entitled to be cocky. You have the credentials!
Then after he and the lucky few had lunch with him, Gary held a meeting with us graduate students only. He was great! He went around the room and gave general advice but also talked to us individually. He went around the room and asked what our name was and what we were researching. And he gave personalize advice to each and everyone of us. I thought that was impressive considering how big of a deal he is. And he gave so many great advices to everyone. If you can get anyone as a mentor, definitely try to get Gary Latham for sure!
He also encapsulates a true scientist-practitioner. He’s a faculty at the Rotman School of Business at U of Toronto right now, but he’s always consulting and doing research in the field. And he’s a true believer in balancing the two sides.
This is why he’s ranked as one of the Masters!