Education for Everyone Everywhere

Posts tagged ‘Skills for Success’

Quieting the Mind

“Education for Everyone Everywhere”

The slogan sits beneath the Horizons University banner on our official website, proclaiming the idea that education should be available for everyone, anywhere in the world. While of course Horizons University offers on-campus learning, we’re able to bring the classroom anywhere and everywhere through our online programs. The classroom is wherever the student wants it to be. Whether it’s the living room sofa, the corner table in the local coffee shop, the public library, or the aisle seat on a flight to Boston, online education releases the student from a regimented schedule and allows them to study at their own pace, in their environment of choice.

But, as much as we don’t want to admit it, this freedom comes with the burden of responsibility and self discipline.

Centering the mind and quieting the mind to focus in a non-traditional work environment takes time and practice. Working from home or completing a degree online has wonderful perks, but it’s important to stay organized and to stay aware of our time and space in order to stay creative and productive.

Here are some helpful tips to quiet our minds and decrease distraction when working:

  1. Meditate: Daily meditation may seem like it belongs in yoga class instead of the office, but meditation can be done by anyone, anywhere, at anytime. Take a break during the day to recollect. It could be in the morning while your coffee is brewing, at lunch in the break room, at your desk or cubicle, or when you get home in the evening. Simply close your eyes and breathe. Meditation isn’t about trying to block your thoughts. The human brain will continue to think and process and worry no matter how hard you try to silence it. The point of meditation is to acknowledge these thoughts and gently move back to a central, calm, focal point. Meditating for 10 minutes before sitting down to write a paper or doing a project will allow your mind to focus more clearly on the task at hand.
  2. Clear Your Schedule: Clearing your schedule doesn’t necessarily mean canceling plans with friends or missing your favorite TV show because you’re stuck in the library studying. It’s important to balance studying or working with personal time for yourself, however when it is time to buckle down and write, make sure there is nothing hanging over your head. For example, before sitting down to write or begin your work for the day, make sure the bills are paid, the cat is fed, and the laundry is done. It’s incredibly difficult to focus wholly on a project when you are distracted by chores or other tasks you need to accomplish. If possible, set a time during the day that is devoted entirely to your online work or study, then, try to get as many chores accomplished beforehand so distractions are minimized. Hide your phone in the pantry, plug in your headphones, keep a snack next to your computer, and get to work.
  3. Find Your Ideal Environment: Some people can design, read, write, create, blog, edit, etc. while seated at a tiny table in a loud, bustling cafe. In fact, this may be the only environment they are able to work effectively in, or at least the environment in which they’re the most creative and focused. Others couldn’t read and comprehend a sentence amongst the music and clanking of coffee cups. While most of us think we know our ideal study environment, it’s important to think critically about how productive we’re being in the different places we choose to work. Ask yourself, “Do I get more work done at my kitchen table? Or at the library?” “Does the bookstore or cafe bring me much needed inspiration for my writing? Or is it ultimately a distraction?” Take time to find your space.

Comment below to share your personal study habits. What works well for you? How do you quiet your mind and focus?



Horizons University Launches its Writing Center!

Copy of Now Opening!

Writing is a fascinating, powerful and empowering tool. All our students – undergraduates and graduates alike – resort to academic writing throughout their studies at Horizons University…and beyond. This is why we want to provide them with the necessary skills to become confident writers and excel in the production of professional level papers.  This is why Horizons University launches its Writing Center.

The Center will open its online doors in the next few days and will be easily accessible to ALL Horizons University students as well as students from other schools via the dedicated page on the Horizons University site. With a simple click of the mouse English native speakers and non-native speakers can now submit their work for writing support and benefit from any of the professional services offered:

-General Revision of APA formatting

-General Revision of Grammar/Punctuation

Full Edit of Document including APA Formatting and Grammar/Punctuation revision

True to Horizons University’s mission, the Center also offers great flexibility: it can be accessed online anytime, a set price can be negotiated for documents longer than a certain amount of pages, and students can decide which, and how many pages of their document they want to have edited. The same flexibility applies to accepted file formats.

Besides revision services, the Writing Center also offers a set of instructional materials, including several documents to help students structure their papers, theses, or dissertations according to APA formatting.

Behind the scenes, skilled and supportive editor Danielle Carney is available to provide students with tailored services, efficient guidance throughout the composition process and to find the options best suited to their specific needs.

The Writing Center has been designed as a learner-centered service respecting every writer’s individual style and approach, while  encouraging professional and intellectual excellence in writing and thinking. Utilizing the Writing Center will benefit the student providing a better understanding of professional, written requirements and a higher chance of being published in a journal for those writing dissertations.

Do you have a doubt about your thesis format, references, bibliography or a question about punctuation or argumentation? The Writing Center is here to assist you in developing your writing and thinking skills!

Be the the first to receive the latest news about the Writing Center in the days to come: subscribe to our newsletter HorizoNews and follow us on Twitter and Facebook for regular updates.

General inquiries can be forwarded to Danielle Carney, the Chief Editor of the Writing Center at

Important Research!

So, you are interested in a degree– you have thought about what would improve your career path– now what??

You may have decided that a BBA (Bachelors in Business Administration) is the best choice for you– or maybe you are after an MBA.  What is stopping you?

Probably a couple of things:

  1. You don’t have the time to go to school, you have a job, you have a family, etc…
  2. School is expensive!

Let’s take a look at the second item first.  Is school expensive?

Compare with Horizons University... You will be Surprised!


Now, do your research… contrast this with the cost of a high quality (and accredited) degree from Horizons University.  Follow this link:


Regarding time… did you know with HU, you can get a degree at your pace, from the comfort of your home?  Check it out and let me know what you think!



TOP Honor Society

MBA Martial Arts from Horizons UniversityMartial Arts students and professionals have the exceptional talent to harmoniously fine-tune body and spirit to reach a balanced self-control. They inspire trust while raising curiosity and motivating others to follow their teachings and follow their passions. Horizons University strongly believes that their vision and mission should find its match in the educational world!

This is why, in combination with the launching of the MBA in Martial Arts, Horizons University is also founding a new Honor Society dedicated to the Martial Arts field and the first one of its kind: the Martial Arts Honor Society Tau Omega Pi, also known as the TOP Honor Society.

The three GreMBA Martial Arts from Horizons Universityek letters TΩΠ (T O P) stand for:


Being a pioneer in Martial Arts education at the university level, and currently working on a joint program with a leading university in the US for its sports degree programs, the creation of an honor society seemed to be the necessary next step to reach more universities and create a world-class group of martial art students and practitioners.

The TOP mission includes the following:

  • Promoting excellence,
  • Acknowledging personal commitment and investment,
  • Promoting Martial Arts studies,
  • Offering a top-class world network,
  • Honoring and awarding individual talents,
  • Honoring and awarding successful clubs.

Some of the TOP Honor Society activities include regular community meetings and get-togethers, participating in international conferences, promoting and organizing cultural events on martial arts and setting up of a shared database on martial arts techniques.

Horizons University is seeking to open chapters in American Universities, dojos around the world and create a worldwide community of outstanding martial arts students and professionals.

To find out more about TOP Honor Society, visit our official sites and register for its Newsletter: (French site) (American site– Coming Soon)

Do You Have a Vision?

Vision without action is merely a dream.

Action without vision just passes the time.

Vision with action can change the world.*

Achieve your Vision with Horizons University

Do you have an inspiring vision of your future?  Have you designed a pathway to reach your vision?  Does getting a degree affect the achievement of your vision?  How about taking the first step:  Visit, Horizons University and change the world!

*Joel Barker–“The Power of Vision”

Do you have what it takes to be a successful CEO?

I found this interesting article by Jim Cardwell on the characteristics and skills necessary to become a successful CEO.   Do you have what it takes?  Have you considered a BBA, MBA or even a DBA to strengthen those skills?

There are a myriad of studies and books on leadership characteristics that relate to the success of any organization. That said, we’ve discovered a recent – yet controversial – study and compared it to a classic business book on how leaders build great companies. We have addressed similarities of the two to see what it takes to be a successful CEO in today’s credit union marketplace. Check out our discoveries and see how you can relate these characteristics and remedies to your leadership skills.

A new controversial study by three University of Chicago business school professors researched how the effectiveness of CEO characteristics translates to success of their companies. [“Which CEO Characteristics and Abilities Matter?”, by S. Kaplan, M. Klebanov, and M Sorensen, June 2007 ] The study, which analyzed the success variance of about 300 CEOs, found consistencies in CEO qualities that correlated with successful companies. The results of the study indicate that “hard skills” are common predictors of success. These hard skills are defined as: persistence, setting high standards, removing underperformers, efficiency, aggressive, moves fast, proactive, work ethic, and holds people accountable. The study’s controversial nature, especially with respect to the credit union industry, reveals that a leader’s “soft side” was notably not the most important criteria set for running a successful company. “Soft skills” are defined as: develops people, treats people with respect, flexibility, integrity, listening, open to criticism, and teamwork. In our experience, the credit union industry typically sees these soft skills as predictors of success – not necessarily the hard skills.

Complementing the University of Chicago study, author Jim Collins, in his book Good to Great , translates the research he did around the characteristics of CEOs leading “great” companies. He describes five levels of capabilities – only people at Level 5 lead sustainable, great companies. A Level 5 leader requires the capabilities of all the lower levels – plus the special characteristics of Level 5. The five levels are:

  • Level 5 Executive : builds enduring greatness through a paradoxical combination of personal humility plus professional will
  • Level 4 Effective Leader : catalyzes commitment to and vigorous pursuit of a clear and compelling vision, stimulates the group to high performance standards
  • Level 3 Competent Manager : organizes people and resources toward the effective and efficient pursuit of predetermined objectives
  • Level 2 Contributing Team Member : contributes to the achievement of group objectives, work effectively with others in a group setting
  • Level 1 Highly Capable Individual : makes productive contributions through talent, knowledge, skills, and good work habits

Both the University of Chicago and Collins’ studies do have common successful CEO characteristics and themes – the most important of which are: persistence, setting high standards, removing underperformers (getting the right people on the bus), and holding people accountable.

Now that the studies’ commonalities have been identified, below are explanations of these important characteristics. Use these descriptions to assess your organization’s leadership. Are there developmental opportunities? Use the explanations to brainstorm remedies to close any gaps.

  • Persistence: someone who demonstrates unwavering resolve to do whatever must be done to produce the best long-term results – no matter how difficult. Some hints to persistence might include not taking rejection personally, going back with different strategies for more tries to accomplish the goal, or not confusing personal “have to do’s” with what most needs to be done.
  • Setting High Standards: a leader who creates superb results – and sets the standard of building a great company and will settle for nothing less. Some hints would be to design work and manage time from the member’s point of view, standardize work processes enterprise wide – creating less variance and more predictability around the member experience. You can’t have on-going high standard experiences unless you create, and benchmark, standard work processes. Only then can it be improved upon and replicated throughout the organization. This requires organizational discipline – a key cultural behavior in successful companies.
  • Removing Underperformers: Collins says a great leader gets “the right people” on the bus – and the wrong people “off the bus.” Leaders who are effectively confronting underperforming employees are timely, consistent, focus on performance gaps, pitch in and help the person succeed. The employee may even be reassigned to find the appropriate “seat on the bus.” And if the efforts fail, the person is quickly separated from the organization. Many surveys suggest a reason for problems in this area is that employees don’t get the on-going feedback they need to improve performance. Without on-going feedback, it’s almost impossible for the employee to improve – and from an HR perspective, it also makes it harder to quickly get the person “off the bus.”
  • Holding People Accountable: this is one of the more difficult skills for most CEOs and executives to master. Before people can be held accountable, it must be crystal clear what their responsibilities are – and clarity around work and goals is often poorly developed and communicated. Providing multi-channel feedback loops, as well as measuring activity and results, are very important to accountability. The CEO must “inspect what he/she expects” and there must be timely rewards or consequences for results.

Which of these characteristics do you think are most important?   Which one(s) are most challenging to develop?

Interested in developing your CEO skills?  Then check out…

Strengthen your CEO skills

Strengthen your CEO skills with a degree from Horizons University