Spotlight: Dr. Crawford

Dr. Crawford has been at Ohio University for two years now. He started off here as a visiting professor, but he is now here in the more permanent position of Assistant Professor of Strategic Management. We are highlighting him in our spotlight series to show the different facets and assets of this department. If you want more information on the center check out this link. The Certificate in Entrepreneurship is a new, flexible way to get involved in entrepreneurship that will help you be successful in your future career.

Dr. Crawford truly brings a unique perspective to the field, and his passion, energy and curiosity is absolutely contagious. Self-described as being “raised by wolves and circus people,” he comes from a very interesting past and has become a very interesting person.

“Entrepreneurship is the creation of new order. It’s about creating companies, about creating new wealth. It’s about trying new things.” That is how Dr. Crawford defines entrepreneurship. The aspect he loves most about entrepreneurship (and his job) is the autonomy—the ability to pick and choose projects based on personal skills and motivation.

After finding a role model and supporter in an English teacher (a lady much like Robin Williams in Dead Poets Society), he decided to follow her path and attend school to become a teacher. As a junior at the University of Toledo, where he also played basketball, he was approached by the Dean of the business school at his university who offered him this advice: you can write in any profession, but in business you can make some money doing it. Following that advice, he went on to get an MBA in marketing from Miami University. While in school he started a company (with a logo that suspiciously looks a lot like the cover of the first Twilight novel) called Red Apple consulting. During this time he was also a nationally ranked powerlifter and body builder.

He takes inspiration from Tom Peters, one of his favorite authors, who has a mantra of “Do cool [stuff] every [darn] day” (edited for content). He really takes this to heart as seen in this video of him doing cool and dangerous stuff (including a standing back tuck and driving his RX-7 140mph). And now, that is what he studies. He is focused on studying outliers. He wants to understand why Google is Google and why Facebook is Facebook. Understanding how one becomes an outlier is a very interesting topic, and Dr. Crawford believes it has a lot to do with dedication and hard work. He believes in hard work, setting high expectations, and finding the freaks. People that are different are outliers, differences make the systems stronger.

That is how he ended up here. From being “raised by wolves and circus people” to voted Best OU Professor by the Athens Messenger, Dr. Crawford is someone you should make time to meet. He is an interesting, passionate guy that brings a lot to the program. Shoot him an email at crawforg@ohio.edu if you want to get connected. Don’t forget that the possibilities are limitless.

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