:: Spotlight: Dennis Passovoy

Posted: January 17, 2012

People Skills Make Successful Managers

Dennis Passovoy knows that it’s “people skills” that impact one’s success as a leader. Over the course of his career, Passovoy has founded five companies, worked as an executive at Dell and spent more than 30 years working in management. He has observed how human behavior influences the personalities and processes of businesses, and he brings this understanding to the classroom.

Passovoy teaches management for University Extension (UEX) and the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin. His course, MAN 320F - Foundations of Organizational Behavior and Administration, examines issues pertaining to people in the context of organizations. MAN 320F is one of the courses students can use to fulfill the requirements of the Business Foundations Certificate.

“Everyone, regardless of what field they choose or their role within an organization, will either work for someone else or have others working for them, Passovoy explains. “Having a keen understanding of how organizations work, and why they work the way they do, is paramount for each of us.”

Through the semester, students in Passovoy’s class explore many different topics, including personality, motivation, team dynamics, leadership, negotiations, change management, and much more. These topics are explored in projects like the Mt. Everest Simulation, a group activity where each student (on a laptop computer) simulates being part of an expedition challenged to ascend the highest mountain on Earth. As they work through the simulation, students learn about leadership, teamwork and crisis management.

One of Passovoy’s favorite aspects of teaching UEX students is the mix of traditional college students and working professionals, which everyone benefits from. “Students in the UEX programs tend to be more mature and experienced,” Passovoy notes. “We regularly get into very interesting discussions that include my students’ own work experiences.”

For the Spring 2012 semester, MAN 320F is scheduled to meet on Monday evenings, from 6-9 p.m. on the main UT Austin campus.

The Business Foundations Certificate provides a solid foundation in business concepts and practice. Learn more about course options and certificate requirements.

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