I just finished my first Academy of Management conference. After a couple of rocky days, I have to say it was a good experience. I think I know what kind of academic I want to be. The same kind of person who was a manager and an employee and a teacher.
I really want to explore new ideas, even if they scare the crap out of the status quo. I want to test ideas that actually matter in the real world, that have some kind of meaningful implication. I want to care about my students and my colleagues supporting them in doing what interests them. I want to add beauty to the world, through beautiful words, ideas and things. I want to have passion about what I do.
I met some people like me here. Which was reassuring.
I also met some people who are busy chasing the traditional academic career, publishing, getting a good job, earning a good reputation. Nothing wrong with that. But it seems that many of the traditionalists are all about hubris. They want worship.
Me, I may not have the most prestigious job at the most prestigious school, with articles in the most prestigious publications. But that’s okay. Because that’s not what matters to me. And in the end, I think I’ll probably make more of a difference in our world by not counting the status points. That makes me happy.