ILA Podcast

Journal of Management Education – Serendipitous Transitions

Phronesis: Practical Wisdom for Leaders

with Jeanie Forray


This is the quote that really stood out from my conversation with Dr. Jeanie Forray.  I love the notion of ‘serendipitous transitions.’ “My lived experience has been one of serendipitous transitions. And what I mean by that is that I can look back at moments in my life and say, ‘Oh, that was a transition point. And they always led to an opportunity that I could not have foreseen if I had been thinking about what do I want to do next.”

Quotes From This Episode

  • “We don’t always think about what leaving looks like.”
  • “I have found through my own lived experience that letting go is as important to the act of leadership or having made a contribution than maybe the contribution itself.”
  • “I’ve always liked the term of ‘reinventing’ because it makes those transitions…exciting. It’s a little scary, too.”
  • “If you don’t institutionalize things, they don’t stick. And institutionalizing is a different aspect of leadership than innovating. So if you do have time, you can innovate and institutionalize.”
  • “We say that leaders are mentors, but sometimes we have to learn how to step back. Our children grow up, our colleagues grow more mature, organizations shift and change. If we leave the leadership position…then we need to pay a little more attention to what that looks like.”

About Dr. Jeanie M. Forray

Jeanie M. Forray is Professor of Management in the College of Business at Western New England University and Adjunct Professor of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations in the Ed.D. program of Peabody College at Vanderbilt University. Dr. Forray served as President of the Western New England University Faculty Senate from 2019-2021, chair of the Management Department from 2007-2015, founded and served as director of the Sophomore Experience Abroad Program from 2010-2014, and co-chaired the university-wide President’s Task Force on Internationalization from 2007-2008.  Dr. Forray received her Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in organization studies (OB/OT). She is a Fellow of the Eastern Academy of Management and a Fellow and past President of the Management and Organizational Behavior Teaching Society. She has received the Erskine Teaching Fellowship from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand three times, where she conducted teaching workshops for doctoral students and collaborated with university faculty on new pedagogical approaches for active learning classrooms.

Dr. Forray is the founding co-editor of Management Teaching Review, the founding editor of Organization Management Journal, and serves currently as co-editor of Journal of Management Education.

Learn More About Jeanie’s Projects

Host Scott J. Allen

Scott Allen

Scott J. Allen, Ph.D., is the Standard Products—Dr. James S. Reid Chair in Management at John Carroll University. He is an associate professor and teaches courses in leadership, management skills, and executive communication. He is also a communications coach, consultant, author, podcast host, and entrepreneur. For almost two decades, he’s worked with clients to improve their leadership and communication skills. Learn more about Scott here.

About Phronesis

Phronesis: Practical Wisdom for Leaders offers a smart, fast-paced discussion on all things leadership. Scott and his expert guests cover timely, relevant topics and incorporate practical tips designed to help you make a difference in how you lead and live.