I am interested in what drives human success. For about 15 years I have been passionately interested in developing people to reach their greatest success in life and helping them understand and reach their greatest happiness and level of personal satisfaction. This interest drove my teaching interests and led me to pursue and earn a PhD in engineering from the University of Michigan. I dreamed of becoming a university professor so that I could teach and mentor students to achieve their greatest success in life. Although I was never able to get a tenure track position, I have had almost 1,750 students in my classes at Miami University and at the University of Michigan.
“Success” means different things to different people – I don’t mean just a highly paid position or control over a lot of people. Those things might be part of success – but they also might be totally unrelated to a person’s own definition of succeeding in this world. Perhaps a person wants to be a great trumpet player or pass a local funding levy or simply want to lose weight. Each of these goals can be a target which defines “success.”
As I have learned about achieving success I have read huge numbers of books, talked with multiple dozens of leaders and successes in various fields, and have tried different approaches to mentoring success. In the spring of 2006 I decided to write a book about failure and success and have created this website to support my writing and to generate constructive feedback for my ideas.
I have five engineering degrees, two from the University of Cincinnati and three from the University of Michigan. I was nominated for and won the Michigan College of Engineering Outstanding Student Instructor Award and was nominated for the Michigan Rackham Graduate School Outstanding Instructor Award. I also have had considerable experience helping develop and improve the teaching ability of the school’s instructors and was a paid graduate student mentor for five semesters and a paid teaching consultant for numerous teaching-related engagements.
I have co-authored three articles on engineering education and almost 20 articles (both peer-reviewed and the general press) about various components of infrastructure systems (water, wastewater, roads, construction, etc.), – the stuff we need to run our society!
– John Norton, Jr., PhD., PE.