Office Hours provides an opportunity to introduce UA students, family, and friends to the outstanding men and women who work at The University of Alabama and work tirelessly to provide each student with a great experience at the Capstone.
This edition introduces Dr. Lonnie Strickland, professor of strategic management in the Culverhouse College of Commerce. Strickland is an expert in strategy. And while he calls Tuscaloosa home during the fall and spring semesters each year, when summer arrives he and his wife travel to their other home in South Africa.
Name: Lonnie Strickland
Hometown: Trion, Georgia
Job Title: Professor of strategic management, UA’s Culverhouse College of Commerce
Alma Mater: University of Georgia (bachelor’s), Georgia Tech (master’s), Georgia State (doctorate)
When I’m on campus, I… write a lot of books; I have brilliant co-authors who deserve all the credit. Our book, “Crafting and Executing Strategy” has been the number one book used in teaching strategy courses in the world for 35 years. Over two million people have read what we have written, and our book is used in over 900 universities around the world.
During my time at UA, I’m most proud of… the lives that I have touched and how successful my “customers” (students) have become. While at UA, I have taught over 28,000 students their last class of business school. I spend an inordinate amount of time talking to my “customers” about what they want to be when they grow up. Because I teach only seniors, everything I touch graduates. It makes me very proud to watch them go off into the world and make their mark knowing I had a part in their success.
The one UA experience I will always remember will be… all the people, students, staff, and faculty, I have had the opportunity to work with. Being able to help students figure out what they want to be and then help them figure out how to get there. It is the reason I am still here, that satisfaction I get from having really touched someone’s life. When students come to me they are like a cake, they already have all the knowledge and have been baked into this final product, but I get satisfaction from getting to add the icing to them, making them truly stand out as a masterpiece.
My favorite spot on campus depends on what day it is… if it is Monday, Wednesday, or Friday very early in the morning, then it is being over in the aquatic center working out with my workout buddy of 40 years. I don’t think you can be intellectually sharp unless you have a comparable physical side to that. I think that is the key to longevity. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, my favorite place is in the classroom where I am around incredibly smart and energetic people. I have spent my whole life around people who are perpetually 21 and 22 years old, and it is such an incredible age. Having the ability to stand in front of them and teach and develop a relationship with them is a privilege.
The most unique thing that has ever happened to me at my house in Africa is… one afternoon while out tracking a rhino, I kneeled down to snap a picture of him and my leg snapped a branch. Rhinos do not have good vision, but have excellent hearing and sense of smells. As the rhino began trotting towards me, I quickly realized there was no way to outrun him because rhinos can run up to 40 miles per hour. I decided since I was standing downwind of the animal and he would not be able to smell, I would stand behind a bush and luckily he just ran right past me. I walked out of there and went home where I drank about a gallon of Pepto Bismol.
To contact Lonnie Strickland, shoot him an email at email@example.com or give him a call at 205-348-8924. You can also find him in his office in Alston Hall 148.