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New Ivey faculty: Hayden Woodley

  • Cam Buchan
  • |
  • Sep 14, 2020
New Ivey faculty: Hayden Woodley

Ivey welcomes six new faculty members to campus! To help you get to know our new colleagues, we asked each of them some questions about their academic – and personal – interests.

Get to know: Hayden Woodley

Hayden Woodley joins Ivey as an assistant professor in Organizational Behaviour. Woodley earned both his PhD and MSc at Western University, after receiving a BA in Psychology and a Post-degree Certificate in Human Resources Management at York University. His research interests focus on the management and leadership practices required in team-based work environments.

The Ontario University Athletics (OUA) baseball star still takes the time to play competitive sports and travel. His biggest influence is his mother, a lawyer, who, despite the adversity, racism, and prejudice she has faced, still strives to make the lives of all those around her better.

Q&A with Hayden Woodley

What is the most important thing business executives can learn from your research/area of expertise?

Although teams have become omnipresent in organizations, many of our management and leadership practices are archaic, and have not been adapted to address the complex, team-based work environment. My research focuses on understanding how to manage and lead teams, helping businesses make better, evidence-based decisions.

Where did you grow up and what was it like there?

I grew up in Caledon, Ont. for the most part (I lived in the United States for a period, as well). It is a very beautiful place to live and I miss having gardens, a forest, and ponds stocked with fish to make my playground.

Who has been your strongest influence in life?

My mom. She is a strong black woman who has consistently faced adversity, racism, and prejudice in her life. Despite these challenges, she still strives to make the lives of those around her – even those who have hurt her – better.

What led you to your career?

I wanted to pursue law like my mom so that I could make a difference in the lives of others. However, while working to pay for my undergraduate degree, I experienced many managers who had poor leadership styles that would impact the daily well-being of employees around me. I decided to pursue a career where I could help develop future leaders who are more self-aware, who understand the importance of the human in human capital, and who know the only best practice is that there is no best practice.

What do you like to do when you’re not working?

I like to stay active, so I play a lot of sports, including baseball, boxing, volleyball, football, and basketball. I also enjoy road-tripping to sporting events, concerts, trying different craft beers, and travelling.

What might someone be surprised to know about you?

I was on the Society of Graduate & Professional Students (SGPS) Wall of Fame for the 2017-2018 school year. In addition, I won two Ontario University Athletics (OUA) championships (2015 and 2016) playing baseball for Western while doing my PhD, winning both a silver slugger award and being selected as a first team league all-star in my second season.

What is the most played song on your playlist as of now?

JU$T by Run the Jewels, featuring Pharrell Williams and Zack de la Rocha.

The hip-hop duo of Run the Jewels has a long-standing history of drawing attention to – and fighting against – social injustice. The song, JU$T, maintains this tradition. It focuses on systemic racism and the fact that, no matter how hard visible minorities work to achieve success, they are still trapped in a heavily biased society, which is clearly outlined in the song’s chorus:

“Mastered economics ’cause you took yourself from squalor (slave)
Mastered academics ’cause your grades say you are a scholar (slave)
Mastered Instagram ’cause you can instigate a follow (slave)
Look at all these slave masters posin’ on yo’ dollar (get it, yeah)”

Note: Parental advisory, the album is not without explicit content.

What podcast do you enjoy?

I don’t listen to any podcasts.

What book would you recommend to others? On the personal side? On the business side?

First, on a personal side, I highly recommend Yung Pueblo’s book of quotes/poetry/prose, Inward. He provides little reminders and useful advice to help individuals become more self-aware, manage their emotions, and become more resilient.

Second, on a business side, I highly recommend Julian Barling’s book, The Science of Leadership. Barling provides a summary of the best evidence we currently have on leadership in organizations. This is an excellent book for practitioners to get an understanding of what we know (and what we don’t know) about leadership, separating the facts from fiction.

Bonus book: How to be an Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi. I think the title says it all.

Any tips for staying connected or succeeding in an online learning environment?

I find it difficult to provide any concrete tips because teaching styles are unique to each instructor, and the design of your course, whether it is synchronous, asynchronous, or a mix of both methods. I’ve learned to use various mediums to connect with the students, to provide as interactive an environment as possible, as long as it fits with your teaching style and learning objectives.