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Environment Drives Behavior: Bill Strickland At Chicago Ideas Week [VIDEO]
Leadership | April 01, 2013

Environment Drives Behavior: Bill Strickland At Chicago Ideas Week [VIDEO]

"Environment drives behavior," leadership speaker Bill Strickland told the audience at Chicago Ideas Week. "Beautiful environments create beautiful kids, prisons create prisoners." That's why the MacArthur Genius designed his arts and training centers with aesthetics in mind, and argues that everyone deserves to live, work, and learn in beautiful surroundings. In the keynote, Strickland chronicled the development of the innovative Manchester Bidwell Corporation, where he is the CEO and President. Despite being located in some of the roughest neighborhoods in the country, he says that none of his centers have experienced incidents of theft, damage to property, or violence.  A public school around the corner from his flagship center in Pittsburgh, however, requires metal detectors and security—a testament to the impact of environment on a person's behavior.

He also says that everyone is born into the world as "assets, not liabilities." The way you treat people and the tools you provide them is with determines their success. "If you want to get people to perform like world class citizens—you've got to treat them that way," he adds. At his various centers all over the country, Strickland provides impoverished youth and adults with the tools and guidance to live up to their potential. His breakthrough organization teaches its members applicable job skills, and provides them with the support they need to believe they are capable of achieving their dreams. In his compelling speeches, Strickland inspires his audiences to make a difference—in both their lives and the lives of them around them.
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