TABLE OF CONTENTS:
- Crude Energy Spuds Wolfcamp Well
- High Oil Prices Expand Scope for EOR
- Growth Cuts Needs for Oil Imports
- Your Staff is Your Best Publicity Asset
- What Your Employees Want to Hear
- ORAU Hopes to Stem Decline of Science Grads
Assessments, urgings, and advice are the orders of the day in our array of articles. These are the expanded (full) versions of the truncated articles we served up in the print version of our May issue, in the “Drilling Deeper” department.
Crude Energy Spuds Wolfcamp Well
Crude Energy, LLC, an independent exploration and production company based in Dallas, Texas, announced April 4 that it has spud the Crude-Red Wolf #1 on March 20, 2014 in Sterling County, Texas. The Crude-Red Wolf #1 is the first vertical Wolfcamp A exploratory well in a possible 50-well prospect on Crude’s leased acreage.
The Crude-Red Wolf #1 is a 9,100-foot test well targeting the Wolfcamp A at 7,900-11,000 feet. Secondary objectives include the Cisco, Canyon, Cline, and Triple M formations. Management anticipates the well will reach total depth in about 19 days. Well completion and testing should begin during the first week of May.
Crude Energy President Parker Hallam stated, “We have great sub-surface mapping to the Wolfcamp on our acreage and all of those surrounding logs show good porosity and permeability and we are very confident we will make a good Wolfcamp well with tremendous additional behind-the-pipe assets.”
Hallam added, “As with most areas in the Permian, the stacked-pay potential of these wells makes for a tremendous long-term producing asset for us and our investing partners.”
For more information on this and other activities of the Company, see the Crude Energy website at www.crude.com.
Crude Energy has current oil and gas exploration projects across the United States.
The company was founded in 2008 to apply state-of-the-art petroleum and natural gas exploration and extraction technology to the development of onshore oil and natural gas projects. Focus areas include Texas, Oklahoma, and North Dakota. Crude Energy officials have noted that they offer oil and gas investment opportunities through direct participation programs and oil and gas investment joint ventures that enable investors to participate in the potential cash flow and unique tax benefits associated with oil and gas investments. As they remarked: “Especially important in a downturned economy, oil and gas investments allow savvy investors to diversify and reinforce their investment portfolios with a stable commodity that is in steady demand.”
High Oil Prices Expand Scope for EOR
Persistently elevated crude oil prices are expanding the opportunities in older oil-producing basins in the U.S. for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) to hike declining production, a process which may become more prevalent over time as more fields mature and begin to decline, according to Jim Wuerth, president for CO2 operations of Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, the United States’ largest transporter and marketer of CO2.
Wuerth said April 7 on Platts Energy Week, the all-energy news and talk show program, that costs are getting “very high” at older fields that have been produced for years or decades, since in many cases little oil is actually coming out of the ground.
Those fields have “reached a point where they’re basically waterflooded out,” Wuerth said. “You’re producing 99 percent-plus water and very little oil, and when you water out, typically you still have 50-60 percent of the oil in place. With CO2 you can go in and produce another 10-20 percent of the oil in place.”
Kinder Morgan recently said it would invest $1 billion in a CO2 enhanced oil recovery project in New Mexico and Arizona. The project includes construction of a 213-mile pipeline to send CO2, which is injected as part of the EOR process, from the company’s St. Johns field in Apache County, Arizona to the Kinder Morgan-operated Cortez Pipeline in Torrance County, New Mexico.
Wuerth said CO2 behaves like a reservoir solvent.
“If you’re painting your house with an oil brush and try to wash the paint out with water, it doesn’t work well,” he said. “If you use paint thinner, it comes out real well. CO2 is like the paint thinner: you put it down under pressure and it mixes in with the oil, swells, and makes it move a little easier from the rock.”
The Permian Basin, which stretches hundreds of miles across West Texas and southeast New Mexico, has produced oil for nearly 100 years and is one of America’s oldest oil producing regions. But it is rebounding on the back of new drilling techniques and renewed efforts to coax oil out of old wells.
Wuerth noted that the industry also undertook CO2 projects when oil was priced as low as $20 per barrel (/b), but said that now, with labor and drilling costs up substantially, typical operating costs are now $10-$20/b – excluding the CO2.
“In today’s market, CO2 runs about $2 thousand cubic feet (/Mcf) or a little higher,” said Wuerth. “It takes 6 Mcfs of CO2 to produce a barrel of oil,” which suggests operating costs of around $30-$35/b.
Even so, with oil prices around $100/b, EORs are still economic despite high operating costs. Also, oil yields increase after EOR, which can extend a field’s productive life for years.
EOR may also be an option outside the Permian, said Wuerth. While it is capital-intensive and infrastructure must be paid for upfront, CO2 flooding is a “very long-life process” once the cost issue is resolved, he said.
As an example, Shell began CO2 flooding decades ago at the Denver Unit in the western U.S., he added.
“They thought when it started they’d inject CO2 for about 10 years, and that would justify putting in the pipeline and the infrastructure,” he said. But “it’s 40 years later and [the company is] still probably one of our largest customers. Production just keeps coming.”
Wuerth also said that CO2 captured from coal-fired power generation could potentially be used for EOR, but said “better technology to capture it at the right cost” is still needed.
“I think we’re getting to a point where the cost [to do that] is pretty close to the cost that the market would bear. The issue is, is it close to where we need it?”
Currently, the market will bear $2-$2.50/Mcf, and capture/compression costs alone are about $2/Mcf, said Wuerth. “If you don’t have transportation [or] if you’re running new transportation, it may run $0.50-$1/Mcf or more and then it gets too expensive. It’s clearly an alternative we’re all looking at.”
Growth Cuts Needs for Oil Imports
A recent U.S. Energy Information Administration “Today in Energy” brief looks at how rising U.S. crude oil production, led by tight oil output, results in lower oil imports in the years ahead.
In the Annual Energy Outlook 2014 (AEO2014) Reference case, crude oil production rises from 6.5 million barrels per day (MMbbl/d) in 2012 to 9.6 MMbbl/d before 2020, a production level not seen since 1970. Tight oil production growth accounts for 81 percent of this increase, and sees its share of national crude oil production grow from 35 percent in 2012 to 50 percent in 2019. In the High Oil and Gas case, U.S. crude oil production reaches 11.3 MMbbl/d in 2019 and reaches 13.3 MMbbl/d in the mid-2030s.
Under the Reference case, the import share of U.S. petroleum and other liquid fuels falls to about 25 percent during the last half of the current decade before rising again to 32 percent by 2040. In comparison, the High Oil and Gas Resource case projects that net U.S. oil imports will continue to decline through the mid-2030s and remain at or near zero between 2035 and 2040.
In the High Oil and Gas Resource case, tight oil plays an even more prominent role in driving national production growth, accounting for nearly two-thirds of total U.S. production by 2035, versus less than half of total U.S. production in the Reference case. Tight oil development is still at an early stage, and the outlook is highly uncertain. In EIA’s view, there is more upside potential for greater gains in production than downside potential for lower production levels. The High Oil and Gas Resource case assumes improvements in tight oil production technology beyond those in the Reference case, as well as higher well productivity rates.
Other assumptions reflected in the High Resource case include:
- Identification of additional tight oil resources
- 50 percent higher Estimated Ultimate Recovery (EUR) for tight/shale oil and natural gas wells
- 50 percent lower well spacing per acre for tight/shale oil and natural gas wells, with diminishing EUR for closely-spaced wells
- A 1percent annual increase in the EURs for tight/shale oil and natural gas wells reflecting both abundant resources and technology advances
- Additional resources in Alaska and Lower 48 offshore fields
Your Staff is Your Best Publicity Asset
By Russell Trahan
Throughout the business landscape, countless days and hours are spent on the hiring process—rifling through resumes, conducting phone and in-person interviews, and vetting potential hires—and for good reason. Company payroll budgets only contain so much flexibility for new employees, and selecting the correct individual to fill an open position involves much more than just ensuring their competence in the role; your new employee is also joining the best weapon in your companywide publicity arsenal: your staff.
Your selection of staff should go beyond just the tangible skills they bring to the office and their ability to complete projects and achieve goals during the workday—it should also include their talent for recruiting and driving business when the day is done, as well. Your salaried or commission-based employees—present and future—should recognize the value of out-of-office networking skills and practices, as even simple interactions after-hours or on the weekends could potentially engage new customers or clients.
It is for that reason that you, as a manager or business owner, should consider the people you employ an essential component to any of your publicity efforts, as they are often your establishment’s first-impression and top recruiting asset once the lights go out for the evening.
There are multiple “best practices” for instilling a sense of off-the-clock commitment in your present and future employees, and utilizing them to foster a sense of organizational pride will work wonders in your efforts to bolster your company image. Online, in-person and over-the-phone, your staff should recognize their value away from the office.
The Social Ovation
Incalculable business relationships are now created and nurtured in The Social Media Stratosphere, and acuity in this area can be an accurate barometer for real-world success. Along with your business’ online-presence and activity, your employees can boost your impact in the social media arena by broadcasting companywide or individual accomplishments from their personal profiles. This can be as simple as a sharing a blog post that a staff member is particularly proud of or that garnered an extensive degree of attention, or actively promoting any sponsored events or appearances.
Client or customer-bases can be developed through your employees’ relationships, especially if they are pleased with their individual contributions and the level of work coming out of your offices enough to show it off. Regularly recognize and applaud their performance in-office, and they may be compelled to share it out of the office—chiefly on their social media platforms. A fulfilled employee is an employee that enthusiastically wants to share your achievements.
Word-of-mouth is often the most powerful form of promotion or advertising, and your staff can be the premier vehicle for this type of reputation advancement.
The Business Card is Timeless
There is no action in the business world more common than the time-honored tradition of exchanging business cards. Even with a shift toward Internet-centricity and networking, every executive will always have a business card on-hand—which should also contain their array of online links and contact information.
Employers should encourage their staff to keep a few cards on the ready. Any chance interaction outside of the workplace can quickly shift into a professional conversation, and a casual swap of business cards Saturday night may result in a new product order or contract Monday morning. Many things will change in the business environment, but the business card is a timeless object that will remain a fundamental networking component.
Maintaining a Convention Game Face
Regardless of primary field or industry, chances are you will send out staff representatives to attend a conference or convention on your company’s behalf at some point. Effectively working a booth is an imperative skill, one that your employees need to possess to ensure that you receive a tangible return on your sponsorship investment.
Part of making an appearance at a corporate convention a fruitful one is the overall demeanor from inside the booth. Your employees should understand the value of simple, conversational engagement with those who stop by—not everyone will want to secure your services, but they should all be treated as such. A smile and a simple acknowledgement greeting to passersby can be the easiest route to increased booth-traffic and solid sales leads at the events’ conclusion.
Email Etiquette Has No Day Off
With the culture of connectedness that was ushered in by the widespread adoption of laptops, tablets and smartphones, your salaried employees are now within reach at all hours of the day, and every day of the week.
When receiving work-related emails or text-correspondence while away from the office, your staff should be remain acutely aware that in-house etiquette still applies, and not allow themselves to slip into casual text-speak or tone they may utilize on their day off. Improper email decorum is an immediate strike against company credibility, so make sure you instill in your workforce the importance of proper electronic communication.
Your product or service is only as good as the people you have onboard. When your employees and associates realize and appreciate their value to your operation and the role they play in actively promoting your business, the more cognizant they become of their actions when they leave the workplace. When you impress upon your staff their importance to the company and their influence on overall accomplishments, you create a workplace culture of collective input and shared success.
When your employees realize their fundamental position in your business, they ardently become an extension of your publicity undertakings, and make a point to contribute even when they are away from the workplace.
Russell Trahan, who authored this piece, is president of PR/PR, a boutique public relations agency specializing in positioning clients in front of their target audience in print and online. PR/PR represents experts of all kinds who are seeking national exposure for their business or organization. Russell and PR/PR will raise your business’ awareness in the eyes of your clients and customers. For more information, please visit www.prpr.net or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a free consultation.
What Your Employees Want To Hear
What were your last 10 or 15 employee conversations like? Chances are, they included phrases like, “I need you to finish that projection by the end of the day,” or, “I’m putting you on the Brown account,” or, “How much longer do you think it’ll take to finish that PowerPoint the client requested?” After all, you can’t run a business without addressing these types of issues. And chances are, unless they were delivered in a, shall we say, forceful tone of voice, your employees don’t mind hearing pertinent instructions and questions. So why does their morale seem to be, well, wilting?
According to Todd Patkin, the problem might not be what you’re saying, but what you’re not saying. The good news is, with a few well-chosen words, you can nurture employee relationships and help their engagement blossom this spring.
“In the midst of the everyday chaos of running a business, leaders often don’t think about what they could or should say to motivate their employees,” says Patkin, author of Finding Happiness: One Man’s Quest to Beat Depression and Anxiety and—Finally—Let the Sunshine In (StepWise Press, findinghappinessthebook.com). “Often, leaders assume that their employees know how they feel—about each person’s individual performance and about the company’s health in general. Usually, though, that’s not the case.”
Patkin speaks from experience. For nearly two decades, he was instrumental in leading his family’s auto parts business, Autopart International, to new heights until it was finally bought by Advance Auto Parts in 2005. One of his most reliable growth strategies, he reports, was proactively nurturing his employees’ attitudes about their jobs by engaging them in conversation. Now, Patkin translates that experience into consulting with organizations to help them build corporate morale and promote greater productivity.
“They’d never bring it up themselves, but there are certain phrases your employees really want to hear from you,” Patkin confirms. “Some have to do with affirmation; others center on encouragement, reassurance, respect, gratitude, or trust. When you verbalize these things—which takes only a few seconds of your time!—you will notice a big change in your employees’ motivation, commitment, and productivity.”
If you start incorporating these phrases into your at-work vocabulary, Patkin promises, your employees’ engagement will “blossom” this spring:
“I need your help.” The age of rule-with-an-iron-fist, top-down leadership is fading fast. More and more, organizations in all industries are realizing that there’s an almost-magical power in the synergy of teams. Here’s how that applies to you: Your employees all have unique skill sets, experiences, and ideas—so tap into them!
“Yes, your employees will be looking to you to steer your company in the right direction, but I promise, they know you’re human, and they don’t expect you to have all the answers,” Patkin comments. “So the next time you’re facing a difficult decision or brainstorming options, ask your team for help. Rather than losing respect for you as a leader, they’ll appreciate that you treated them as valued partners—and they’ll feel more invested in your company’s future because they had more of a hand in creating it.”
“How is your family?” The truth is, people don’t care how much you know (or how good you are at your job) until they know how much you care. Your employees will be more loyal and more motivated if they feel valued as individuals, not just as job descriptions. So get to know each team member on an individual basis and incorporate that knowledge into your regular interactions. For instance, if you know that John in Accounting has a daughter who’s applying to college, ask him which schools she’s considering. Or if Susanna in HR just came back from vacation, ask to see a few pictures.
“Showing genuine interest and caring is the greatest motivator I know,” confirms Patkin. “When you dare to ‘get personal,’ your employees’ desire to please you will skyrocket. That’s why, when I was leading my family’s company, I took advantage of every opportunity I could think of to let my people know I was thinking about them. I recommended books I thought they might enjoy. I sent motivational quotes to employees who might appreciate them. I attended all weddings, funerals, bar mitzvahs, and graduations I was invited to. And you know what? Not only did I fuel my employees’ engagement… I also formed a lot of meaningful relationships that continue to this day.”
“What do you need from me?” Often, employees are anxious about asking the boss for what they need, whether it’s updated office equipment, more time to complete a project, advice, etc. They may fear a harsh response, want to avoid looking needy, or simply feel that it’s “not their place” to ask for more than you’ve already provided. By explicitly asking what you can give them, you extend permission for your people to make those requests—and they’ll certainly appreciate it.
“Be sure to treat any requests you receive seriously,” Patkin instructs. “If you can’t give an employee what she asks for, explain why and work with her to find another solution. Either way, this question, and the conversations it sparks, can give you valuable insight regarding how to improve your company’s operations, facilities, and culture. It can also show you how to best develop and support individual team members.”
“I noticed what you did.” Every day, your employees do a lot of “little” things that keep your company running smoothly and customers coming back: Refilling the copier with paper when it’s empty. Smiling at customers after each transaction. Double-checking reports for errors before sending them on. And so forth. Unfortunately, in many organizations, these everyday actions are taken for granted, which (understandably) has a negative effect on employee morale.
“Your employees want to know that you notice and value the mundane parts of their jobs, not just the big wins and achievements,” Patkin confirms. “That’s why I recommend making it your mission to ‘catch’ as many of your employees as possible in a good act. Then, point out exactly what it is about their behavior that you appreciate. Phrases like, ‘Sal, I’ve noticed that you always take such care to keep the file room neat. Thank you!’ take about five seconds to say, but they can pay long-lasting dividends for your company in terms of morale and motivation.”
“Thank you.” Yes, your employees may crave recognition for doing the mundane parts of their jobs, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t also appreciate a heartfelt “thank you” for bigger accomplishments. Whether it’s “Thanks for staying late last night,” “Thanks for being so patient with Mrs. Smith—I know she can be a difficult customer,” “Thank you for making our first-quarter marketing campaign a success,” or something else, your people will treasure your appreciation more than you realize.
“People love to hear positive feedback about themselves, and in most cases, they’ll be willing to work a lot harder to keep the compliments and thanks coming,” notes Patkin. “Praise, especially when it comes from an authority figure, is incredibly fulfilling. (And sadly, it’s also rare.) On that note, make sure that you praise and acknowledge your people in a positive way more often than you criticize them. That’s because negative feedback tends to stick in most people’s memories longer, so you need to counterbalance it.”
“Hey, everyone—listen to what Riley accomplished!” Everybody loves to be recognized and complimented in front of their peers. So don’t stop with a “mere” compliment when an employee experiences a win—tell the rest of the team, too! Whether correctly or incorrectly, many employees feel that their leaders point out only their mistakes in front of the group, so make it your daily mission to prove that perception wrong.
“When I was at Autopart International and I saw that one of my people did something noteworthy, I made sure that everyone else knew about it by emailing the story to the entire chain,” Patkin recalls. “I could literally see the glow on the highlighted employee’s face for weeks, and I also noticed that many of the other team members began to work even harder in order to earn a write-up themselves. Other successful recognition strategies included writing thank-you notes to my employees and publishing a company-wide monthly newsletter highlighting our ‘stars.’ Sometimes, I would even call my employees’ homes to brag on them to their families!”
“What would you like to do here?” Sure, you originally hired each of your employees to do specific jobs. But over time, your company has grown and changed—and so have your people. That’s why Patkin says it’s a good idea to check in with each one of them periodically to ask what they’d like to be doing. You might be surprised to learn, for instance, that your administrative assistant would like to be included in the next marketing campaign design team. You might be even more (pleasantly!) surprised to find that her social media engagement ideas yield impressive results.
“Annual performance reviews might be a good time to discuss this topic with your employees,” he suggests. “No, you won’t always be able to accommodate every employee’s preferences. But whenever possible, keep job descriptions within your company fluid and allow your people to have a say in matching their skills to the company’s needs. This is one of the best ways I know to build loyalty and encourage your employees to really take ownership of their jobs. After all, they’ll have had a hand in designing them!”
“I have bad news.” You certainly don’t mind sharing good news with your employees, but bad news is a different story. Your instinct might be to play down negative developments, or even keep them to yourself entirely. Nobody wants to be the person who says, “We’re going to have to eliminate some positions over the next six months,” or, “Unfortunately, our company can’t afford to provide raises or bonuses this year.”
“Nevertheless, your employees deserve to hear the truth from you as soon as possible,” Patkin confirms.
“They aren’t stupid and will be able to tell when something is ‘up’ even if you don’t acknowledge it. By refusing to share bad news, you’ll only increase paranoia and anxiousness—neither of which are good for engagement or productivity. But when you treat your people like responsible adults by being honest and open, they will appreciate your transparency…and often, you’ll find that they’re willing to voluntarily double their efforts to help you turn the tide.”
“What do you think?” Maybe you’ve never put much emphasis on the thoughts and opinions of your employees. After all, you pay them a fair wage to come to work each day and perform specific tasks. As a leader, it’s your job to decide what those tasks should be and how they should be carried out, right? Well, yes—strictly speaking. But according to Patkin, this unilateral approach to leading your team sends the impression that you’re superior (even if that’s not your intent) and also contributes to disengagement.
“Employees who are told what to do feel like numbers or cogs in a machine,” he points out. “Often, their performance will be grudging and uninspired. To unlock buy-in and achievement, make your employees feel like valued partners by asking them for their opinions, ideas, and preferences. Again, they’ll be much more invested in your organization’s success because they had an active part in creating it. And guess what? Your employees probably won’t care as much as you think they will if their suggestions don’t become reality. Mostly, they just want to know that their voice was heard by the people in charge.”
“Here’s how our company works and where we stand.” In many companies, employees in Sales don’t know much about what’s happening in Accounting. Likewise, the folks in Accounting aren’t really familiar with how things in the warehouse work…and so on and so forth. Generally, this state of affairs doesn’t cause too many problems. But according to Patkin, helping your employees make connections regarding how your company works from top to bottom will streamline internal processes, reduce misunderstandings, and promote team spirit.
“Again, this is all about transparency and treating employees like partners,” he comments. “When you make a point of showing everyone how your business ‘works’ and how their specific job descriptions fit into the overall ‘machinery,’ you’ll find that us-versus-them thinking tends to decline, and that profit-minded solutions begin to proliferate.
“At Autopart International, one of the best management decisions I ever made was showing my employees ‘the numbers’ on a regular basis,” Patkin continues. “I made sure that everyone understood the relationship between their performance and the bottom line—and thus their own pay. Several employees told me that my transparency prompted them to think more carefully about how their own everyday choices and efforts affected the bigger picture.
“That’s okay. We all make mistakes. Let’s talk about how to fix this.” In business, mistakes are going to happen. And in many instances, the impact they have on your company revolves around how you as a leader handle them. Sure, lambasting an employee who has dropped the ball may make you feel better in the short term, but it’ll negatively impact that employee’s self-confidence, relationship with you, and feelings for your company for much longer.
“Don’t get me wrong: You shouldn’t take mistakes, especially those involving negligence, incompetence, or dishonesty, lightly,” says Patkin. “But when your employees have made an honest mistake, try to be as understanding with them as you would be with your own family members. Take a deep breath and remind yourself that the employee feels very bad already, and that yelling or lecturing won’t change the past. Instead, focus on figuring out what went wrong and how to keep it from happening again. Did the employee (or the company as a whole) learn something? Should a process or procedure be tweaked going forward to reduce the chances of something similar reoccurring?
“Also, never forget that mistakes are an essential part of growth,” Patkin adds. “The innovation and creativity it takes to grow a business will be accompanied by setbacks and slip-ups. You don’t want to create an environment where people don’t take potentially productive risks because they’re afraid you’ll get mad if they screw up.”
“You deserve a reward.” Patkin is adamant that simple things like gratitude, respect, and autonomy make people far more happy than, say, big salaries and corner offices. However, he isn’t denying that more tangible rewards like bonuses, vacation time, prime parking spaces, benefits, and more have their place in raising employee engagement. The truth is, you’ll be hard-pressed to find an employee who doesn’t appreciate these things.
“When resources allow, look for ways to reward your employees for their hard work,” Patkin recommends. “Remember, nobody wants to work for a Scrooge! At Autopart International, I thanked employees with everything from sports tickets to door prize drawings to lavish company parties to vacations on Martha’s Vineyard. I found that when I treated my employees like kings and queens, they worked extra-hard to be the recipients of these perks…and they were much more resistant to moving when offers to work for ‘the other guys’ occasionally came their way.
“I know you can do it.” Of course you should try to hire employees who are confident and self-directed. But even the most self-assured individuals appreciate an explicit vote of confidence from their leaders.
“Constantly challenge your people and push them to improve while reassuring them that you believe in them,” Patkin advises. “Everyone, no matter how capable or experienced they are, appreciates encouragement. At Autopart International, I found that tying verbal votes of confidence to something more concrete—specifically, employees’ pay—was one of the best ways to motivate them.
“Specifically, I told my employees that I believed in their ability to help our company grow—so much so that I wanted to introduce the concept of performance-based pay with no cap,” he shares. “I found that when a leader is willing to bet large amounts of money on employees’ potential achievements, those employees will work harder for you—and for themselves!—than you ever thought possible. With this strategy, everyone wins.”
“This task is in your hands—I’m stepping back.” Most micromanaging leaders don’t set out to annoy or smother their employees. The problem is, they care—a lot!—and want to make sure everything is done just so and that no balls are dropped or opportunities missed. The problem is, excessive hovering can give employees the impression that you don’t trust them or have faith in them—a belief that actively undermines engagement.
“Once you’ve delegated a task, step back and let your employees do what you’ve asked of them,” Patkin instructs. “Yes, I know that can be easier said than done. If you have to, lock yourself in your office or go for a walk around the building to keep yourself from hovering! It may also help to remind yourself that you hired each of your employees for a reason, that you have faith in their potential, and that if they do need help, they know where to find you.”
“Remember, business is always personal,” Patkin concludes. “Specifically, it’s about reaching and motivating each of your employees on a personal level so that they care about contributing to your organization’s ultimate success. This spring, which phrases will you be adding to your at-work vocabulary?”
Todd Patkin, author of this piece, is also author of Finding Happiness: One Man’s Quest to Beat Depression and Anxiety and—Finally—Let the Sunshine In, Twelve Weeks to Finding Happiness: Boot Camp for Building Happier People, and Destination: Happiness: The Travel Guide That Gets You from Here to There, Emotionally and Spiritually (coming 2014), grew up in Needham, Massachusetts. After graduating from Tufts University, he joined the family business and spent the next eighteen years helping to grow it to new heights. After it was purchased by Advance Auto Parts in 2005, he was free to focus on his main passions: philanthropy and giving back to the community, spending time with family and friends, and helping more people learn how to be happy. Todd lives with his wonderful wife, Yadira, and their amazing son, Josh.
About the Books: Finding Happiness: One Man’s Quest to Beat Depression and Anxiety and—Finally—Let the Sunshine In (StepWise Press, 2011, ISBN: 978-0-9658261-9-8, $19.95) is available at bookstores nationwide, from major online booksellers, and at www.findinghappinessthebook.com.
Twelve Weeks to Finding Happiness: Boot Camp for Building Happier People (New Focus Press, 2012, ISBN: 978-0-9885092-0-7, $13.99) is available from Amazon.com.
ORAU Hopes to Stem Decline of Science Grads
Jason Hayward, Ph.D., is applying his nuclear engineering research expertise to develop the next generation of high-resolution instruments for facilities like Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Spallation Neutron Source. He hopes his work will eventually help curtail the spread of nuclear weapons and assist in identifying viable alternative energy sources. Hayward is an assistant professor of nuclear engineering at the University of Tennessee, a joint faculty member with ORNL’s Nuclear Security and Isotope Technology Division, a U.S. Department of Energy research award recipient and a participant in the Higher Education Research Experiences Program. He and many other early career researchers are participating in ORAU-managed fellowships and internships with DOE and other federal agencies and are the main focus of ORAU’s 2013 Annual Report, which has just been released.
Alongside accomplished scientists and engineers, these students and postgraduates are performing cutting-edge research in national laboratories and research centers that is positively impacting the U.S. scientific mission. With the U.S. expected to produce only 400,000 graduates in scientific, technical, engineering and mathematics disciplines by 2015, compared to more than 3.5 million and 1.5 million STEM graduates in China and India, respectively, in the same timeframe, cultivating U.S. STEM talent through these fellowships and internships is more critical than ever.
“A number of my graduate students have been supported through DOE funds, allowing them to research a wide range of topics from new scintillator development for measuring radiation to using radiation detection methods for monitoring treaty verification and nuclear arms control initiatives,” said Hayward, a graduate of the University of Michigan. “Some of the innovations resulting from basic research funded by DOE have the potential to lead to patents, enhanced national security and increased global competitiveness.”
Building on long-standing relationships with DOE and national laboratories as well as academic institutions that are part of its 114-member university consortium, ORAU manages robust STEM learning enrichment and workforce development programs through DOE’s Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education and the ORAU Center for Science Education. The primary goal is to attract world-class scientific talent into research programs and ultimately scientific and technical careers. “Thousands of early-career professionals are conducting research at more than 300 federal laboratories and research centers across the country through ORAU-administered research participation programs,” said ORAU President and CEO Andy Page. “These efforts, along with our K-12 STEM initiatives that motivate and inspire young students to pursue S&T careers, help develop the infrastructure necessary for the U.S. to successfully compete globally.”
Other researchers featured in the report have commented on the value of these research experiences. “I wish every college student could have this experience…,” said Lee University mathematics undergraduate Lindsay Holdman, who spent 10 weeks researching improvements to lithium-ion batteries. Holdman’s appointment was at the National Energy Technology Laboratory through the DOE Mickey Leland Energy Fellowship, administered by ORISE. “… It has allowed me to become invested in and excited about my research,” she said. “I’ve had the chance to work with some of the most expert professionals in the field,” said
Davide Farnocchia, Ph.D., a fellow in the ORAU-managed NASA Postdoctoral Program who is performing near-Earth asteroid monitoring at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. “I find it amazing how we can combine our different backgrounds and perspectives to help each other solve problems.”
To view a PDF of the 2013 ORAU Annual Report and to explore full profiles of these and other early career researchers, visit www.orau.org/annualreport.
ORAU provides innovative scientific and technical solutions to advance national priorities in science, education, security and health. Through specialized teams of experts, unique laboratory capabilities and access to a consortium of more than 100 major Ph.D.-granting institutions, ORAU works with federal, state, local and commercial customers to advance national priorities and serve the public interest. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and federal contractor, ORAU manages the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Learn more about ORAU at www.orau.org.