Steve Weitzenkorn

Steve WeitzenkornEducational Psychology: Human Learning (with emphasis on Organizational Behavior)

MA 1973 and Ph.D. 1977
I loved the close interactions I was able to have with faculty and the ability to bounce ideas and concepts off them. I always received thoughtful and well-reasoned reactions, encouragement, and support for pursuing various initiatives, even if they were a bit unconventional. (One example was a proposal I presented to the Board of Directors of the Lincoln Public Transit System for improving bus ridership.) My advisors offered guidance and suggestions while giving me greater confidence to try new things. They also saw in me things I had not yet seen in myself. 
Another part of my experience at UNL was the support I received from faculty in pursuing my research interests in achievement motivation, which resulted in the publication of two articles in highly-regarded psychological research journals. One of these studies was conducted with students in the Waverly Public Schools.
I am in on the fourth leg of my career, all of which stem from my graduate studies at UNL. (The department then was called Educational Psychology and Measurements.) 
My initial post-UNL job involved the scientific analysis of pedestrian accidents. (The idea of swing-out stop sign on school busses was one of my recommendations.) 
My next step in my career was with an international human resources development consulting firm where I developed numerous skill- and knowledge-building programs for multinational companies on everything from interactive skills to sales effectiveness to mine safety. After a few years I became the Vice President, Consulting Services Group. My work was also recognized when I was awarded the William C. Byham Award for for Innovation and Excellence in Training Technology.
The third segment of my career began following my move to Arizona. My work transitioned toward working with nonprofits, planning and leading strategic retreats, and developing special adult-learning projects, including learning maps and interactive simulations. One of these included designing the business simulation that supports Stephen M.R. Covey's best selling business book, The Speed of Trust. Other projects included extensive work with Tsinghua University in Beijing. That work focused on re-training professors to improve the effectiveness of their teaching methods. Another interesting projected involved developing a behavioral assessment system for selecting chancellors for a state-wide, multi-campus community college system.
The fourth leg of my career has been largely focused on writing while continuing some consulting work. I am the author of co-author of three books:
The Catalyst Effect: 12 Skills and Behaviors to Boost Your Impact and Elevate Team Performance (It's been endorsed by Daniel Pink, Angela Duckworth, Stephen M.R. Covey, Brad Stevens, and many others. It was recently translated into Hungarian (I spoke at the launch in Budapest) and is currently being translated into Mandarin. Visit
Shakespeare's Conspirator: The Woman, The Writer, The Clues. It's a historical novel about a real woman (Amelia Bassano) lost to history who probably wrote several of the plays attributed to Shakespeare. A Hollywood production company is passionate about creating a television mini-series based on the story. To learn more, visit
Find-Fulfill-Flourish: Discover Your Purpose With LifePath GPS. This was the first book I wrote with a co-author. It rolls down strategy formation techniques used by companies and nonprofits to a personal level, to enable readers to develop a personal purpose and path for developing a more fulfilling life.
UNL was a pivot point for me thanks to the wisdom and flexibility if my advisor, Royce Ronning, who enabled me to pursue a customized Ph.D, program that combined Educational Psychology and studies in Organizational Behavior in the College of Business under the guidance of Fred Luthans. This combination was instrumental in enabling me to launch a very successful career in which much of my work was on the human side of organizational change, leadership development, team dynamics, and strategy formation. 
In fact, the first part of my career occurred while I was still working on my doctorate. I applied for a job as Director of Evaluation at the Nebraska Commission on Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice (Crime Commission) where I was able to put to practical use many of the concepts I was learning at UNL and see, first hand, how they worked in an applied environment. The professors were also generous in allowing me to share what I learned with my classmates.
My advisors were very supportive and flexible in enabling me to work full time and still pursue my graduate studies, although I had to take fewer course each semester.
Pursue opportunities to apply what you are learning in a variety of conventional, constructive, and imaginative ways. Take initiative and experiment. Share what you learn from first-hand experience. Seek faculty guidance. Professors want to help you become as successful as possible.
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