Episode 46 – Unstoppable Guy with Dr. David Schein
By now, regular listeners to this podcast have observed that I begin episodes with the word “Unstoppable”. I stole the idea from the old-time radio show Dragnet which began every show with the words “The Big” followed by other title words. Hey, it worked for Dragnet so why invent something new? You will hear near the end of this episode why I used “Unstoppable Guy” as the title.
Anyway, meet Dr. David Schein, JD, Ph.D. who currently is a Professor, Endowed Chair of Management and Marketing, and Director of Graduate Programs at the Cameron School of Business at the University of St. Thomas. Throughout his lifetime, Dr. Schein has worked first as a real estate salesperson, and then later as a lawyer for many years. Now he is teaching others his skills and giving them his knowledge and wisdom through his teaching efforts.
As you will discover, David made choices that moved his career along. His story is quite fascinating, and he is by any definition unstoppable. I hope you enjoy listening to David Schein’s conversation and that he will inspire you with his thoughts. Please let me know your thoughts and, as always, please give us a 5-star rating after you hear what David has to say.
About the Guest:
Dr. David D. Schein, MBA, JD, Ph.D. is a Professor, Endowed Chair of Management and Marketing, and Director of Graduate Programs at the Cameron School of Business at the University of St. Thomas. Dr. Schein is frequently interviewed on employment and business law matters. He speaks for business and industry groups throughout the United States on various current topics. His new book is: Bad Deal for America. He is also the author of The Decline of America: 100 Years of Leadership Failures (2018). He has been quoted in numerous national and local publications, including Forbes and US News and World Reports. In addition to hosting “Saving America” and “Business Law 101” webcasts, he has been interviewed on numerous webcasts and podcasts in the United States and England. He also is President and General Counsel of Claremont Management Group, a national human resource consulting and training firm, which is celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2019.
Author Profile Page on Amazon:
David Schein | LinkedIn
About the Host:
Michael Hingson is a New York Times best-selling author, international lecturer, and Chief Vision Officer for accessiBe. Michael, blind since birth, survived the 9/11 attacks with the help of his guide dog Roselle. This story is the subject of his best-selling book, Thunder Dog.
Michael gives over 100 presentations around the world each year speaking to influential groups such as Exxon Mobile, AT&T, Federal Express, Scripps College, Rutgers University, Children’s Hospital, and the American Red Cross just to name a few. He is an Ambassador for the National Braille Literacy Campaign for the National Federation of the Blind and also serves as Ambassador for the American Humane Association’s 2012 Hero Dog Awards.
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UM Intro/Outro 00:00
Access Cast and accessiBe Initiative presents Unstoppable Mindset. The podcast where inclusion, diversity and the unexpected meet. Hi, I’m Michael Hingson, Chief Vision Officer for accessiBe and the author of the number one New York Times bestselling book, Thunder dog, the story of a blind man, his guide dog and the triumph of trust. Thanks for joining me on my podcast as we explore our own blinding fears of inclusion unacceptance and our resistance to change. We will discover the idea that no matter the situation, or the people we encounter, our own fears, and prejudices often are our strongest barriers to moving forward. The unstoppable mindset podcast is sponsored by accessiBe, that’s a c c e s s i capital B e. Visit www.accessibe.com to learn how you can make your website accessible for persons with disabilities. And to help make the internet fully inclusive by the year 2025. Glad you dropped by we’re happy to meet you and to have you here with us.
Michael Hingson 01:20
Welcome to another episode of unstoppable mindset. Today, we get to talk with Dr. David Schein, who lives in Houston. And Dr. Shein, or David, as he likes to sometimes be called, is the Endowed Chair of the Cameron School of Business at the University of St. Thomas. And we’ll get into all of that, and lots of other stuff. But David, I’m gonna go ahead and call you David, if that’s okay. Welcome to mindset.
Dr.David Schein 01:54
Well, thank you. And I appreciate the invitation. And, you know, we had an opportunity for a pre interview recently. And I’m fascinated by your background and your accomplishments. So it’s, it’s it’s fun to be back with you.
Michael Hingson 02:08
So do you do a podcast?
Dr.David Schein 02:10
Yes, I actually do two series right now I do. The main one is called saving America. And we’re in our fourth season of that. And it’s called the intersection of business and politics. And then the other series, which is more recent is called Business Law 101. And as I teach business law, to college seniors, we’ve selected different lectures and clipped them into just three to five minute portions. And we’re now adding new sections of current business news events that have a legal aspect. So the case would be pretty busy.
Michael Hingson 02:52
Well, if you ever need to guest if you think we’re a fit, after all of this, would love to explore it. That’d be great. Certainly, and certainly anyone who is listening to this, by the end, we will go through how you can reach out to David and you might be a guest on his podcast as well or certainly learn more about what he has to offer, but we’ll get there. So, you said in our earlier discussions, that you grew up in a large family, I’d love to learn about that. Sure. I only had one brother so of course two parents, but only one brother. So we didn’t have the luxury or, or challenges or joy of a large family.
Dr.David Schein 03:35
Well, it is a two bladed sword. I’m the oldest of seven children. My dad was a career enlisted member of the US Navy and especially in the time period I don’t think they’re well paid today. But certainly when he was doing his career in the military from shortly after World War Two until around 1980 The pay was was not good. And he had to you know struggle financially keep food on the table and keep a roof over our heads. And my mom because of the seven children really couldn’t work outside the home because she had quite a bit to take care of it the house. We all had family responsibilities, the boys so we were very traditional background, the three boys we were responsible for yard maintenance and taking the trash out stuff and the girls helped my mom in the kitchen and with with laundry and things like that. So we all had our own responsibilities and basically clean up your own stuff. But it was it was a bit of a challenge at the same time. It’s it’s funny because of what you just said about having one on one brother because you get used to kind of it’s it’s more of a crew and An approach than an individualistic approach if you know what I mean.
Michael Hingson 05:04
Yeah. So I do understand what you’re saying. So what what did your dad do?
Dr.David Schein 05:12
He was a chief Yeoman. And he retired as the chief Yeoman in the US Navy. He did 28 and a half years in the Navy, he actually was afforded an opportunity. The crossover degree or the enlisted level is called an ensign. An ensign is the crossover from enlisted to Officer. But he felt that at the time, they offered that to him, that the cost of uniforms to go to Officer uniforms and so forth, would would put too much of a financial crunch in the family. So he actually career to out as a as the senior enlisted officer, which is the chief in the Navy sergeant in the Army.
Michael Hingson 05:57
Interesting. So the military didn’t pay for the uniforms and all that.
Dr.David Schein 06:04
Apparently, they they give you an allowance, but like in a lot of things, it’s not enough to actually have a complete redo. And my dad was a very modest fellow. And I think he also felt socially pressured because he had not yet finished college. And generally speaking, in the military, the standard, pretty much post World War Two is that you finished college and you can start as a junior lieutenant, or, you know, junior officer, but then you can move up from there. So since he didn’t have a college degree at the time, I think that was another factor,
Michael Hingson 06:41
a factor that kind of limited what he was able to get,
Dr.David Schein 06:46
right or that he was willing to take on, because he would have been dealing primarily with other officers who did have a college degree already.
Michael Hingson 06:54
So when did he actually term out in the military, then?
Dr.David Schein 06:59
I’m looking back I said, 1980, actually, I think it was around 1974. And so he actually was in the military through the Vietnam War. And at one point, he did have orders to go to Vietnam, which for a navy cabin person, if you will, Yeoman manages the business of the ship. That’s a relatively safe position. But he would have been sitting on the ship outside of Tonkin Harbor, rather than being on land or flying planes over North Vietnam, which was, of course, as you know, from John McCain story, much more dangerous activity. But because he had so many children, there was some intercession there. And he was moved to a three year position at Norfolk, Virginia, which in turn ended up my strong connection to the state of Virginia. You know, Norfolk is navy town, USA,
Michael Hingson 07:59
right. So you grew up more than in Virginia than anywhere else?
Dr.David Schein 08:06
Well, I went to the school that I went to was divided in a very neat fashion. It had the school system in Norfolk, Virginia, which by the way, was a fully integrated system, which I thought was very beneficial. I went from a high school in Massachusetts, with a total of 12 black students in the whole school, in small town in suburban Boston, to a high school, a large high school that was 1/3, black. And so it was my first experience dealing with a much more diverse student population. And in fact, when I was in high school, this was still a transition period in the late 60s, where we’re one of the first integrated high school debate teams. I know it seems strange today, but they the people around us were not used to seeing black and white students on the same high school debate team. And we had some interesting experiences because of that. But it was a great experience for me to go to a different state. But because it was a senior high school system when I moved there, starting my sophomore year in high school, all of the other students were starting there at the same time. So whereas many military families, you would just get dropped in at whatever day or semester that your father or mother ended up being transferred. You were kind of at the mercy of what was happening, but that did help me a great deal to be on the same level as the other students. In other words, we all were starting in a new school and our sophomore year, and it’s quite a big high school. My graduating, the whole school had 2700 students for just three grades, and my graduating class had over 700 students.
Michael Hingson 09:57
What school was it again?
Dr.David Schein 09:59
It was called Norview Senior High and the novel Cavs gone back to the traditional system where the middle schools are sixth, seventh and eighth grade. And the high schools for the traditional four year high school, and but at the time was called Norview, Senior High. And it was one of the four high schools and Northfolk. And they expanded to five high schools while I was in high school I was fortunate enough to stay with, with Norview. But it was, it was very interesting experience because we were living in government housing, which was when you’re in the military, especially as an enlisted man living in government, housing is a better deal, because the token cost of your housing, it cannot be replaced in the civilian marketplace. But it was very interesting, because I was the one of the first honors graduates that the high school ever had, who was living in the housing project that was served by that high school. And then my sister did it the the year behind us. So we kind of turned things around a little bit. I came in second in my high school graduating class, my sister graduated year behind me and was first in her class. So I think we redefined what it was like to have students coming out of a government housing project
Michael Hingson 11:21
must have been a little bit of a challenge, having seven kids and, and dealing with school and so on. Did you guys help each other a lot. We said we had a team network.
Dr.David Schein 11:34
Yeah, we had a particular system. Like I said, we all had family responsibilities, you know, chores to do. So what it looked like is the family would retire to the living room and watch the little black and white tea. But if they had at the time, and my sister Catherine and I who were the two oldest, would stay at the kitchen table and do homework until you know from say, you know, dinnertime until 10, sometimes later at night. And we did that every every night pretty much during the school year. So we there was my parents understood the need for us to do that. And the funny part was my parents, my mom had a GED, my dad was a high school graduate, my parents had no concept of what it was like to actually go to college, but they kept telling us you will go to college, you will go to college, college. And it’s like, you know, once I got to college, it was like, I don’t think my parents really quite handy that I had a clue. But in i in i didn’t take any money from my parents once I left for college. And then my sister a year later also did not take any money when she left for college. So it was an unusual thing. And I find it interesting today that the federal government is talking about dismissing student loans. And, you know, all I can say is my sister, I don’t know if my sister borrowed very much money at all. But I borrowed a modest amount of money for federally guaranteed loans, and I paid all of them back this year once I got out of school. And I think that’s the appropriate thing to do. Because you’re making an investment in your own future.
Michael Hingson 13:24
It is a lot more expensive to to do college. Now. I know when I went to university, California, Irvine. So it’s the A state university system. I think it was like $273 of quarter for registration and so on. And I know living in the dorm. It was I think, if I recall, right. I’m trying to remember it was not it grossly expensive was like $1,200 to live in the dorm. And you know, it’s of course, a lot different nowadays.
Dr.David Schein 14:09
Yes, it is it there’s no question about it. And I just had my younger son finished college in 2018. And he attended, actually a branch of Texas a&m University, a state university here in Texas. And it was the cost of education was not trivial. But he did very well. He did very well when he’s finished school. And I actually think he makes about what I make and he’s working half as much so I think he had a good investment. And so you know, and one of the things that statistically they look at on the student loans is the two schools that have the largest student debt, our law school and medical school. Now in fairness law school is not a good Guaranteed payout a lot of people think it is. But, you know, speaking as a law graduate, you have to get out there and get job done and work hard. And especially if you hang out your shingle, it’s certainly not a guaranteed paycheck. But for medical school, there’s such an enormous demand for medical doctors, that the the normal payout is 10 to $20,000 a month as soon as they get their their medical license. So in that ballpark, I’m not sure why we would forgive student loans for those people unless they go to low income communities and do things like that. And then parallel to that, is the students who pursue education that go to work in urban school districts also get a certain balance. I think students with disabilities also can apply for student loan relief. So I favor more targeted programs than just blanket just saying, oh, we’ll just write off all the student debt. I don’t think that’s I don’t think it serves a social interest. In other words,
Michael Hingson 16:11
so you left high school and went to college. And you also, as I recall, started a radio show and eventually started your own business. Yes, early, you’re doing a lot of innovative things and your family taught you well, how to think and how to move forward. And of course, the terminology we use is Be unstoppable. But tell us about college in your your business and the radio show, if you Well,
Dr.David Schein 16:39
thanks for bringing that up. I started I’ve been a writer since I was fairly young. And I went to K through 12k through eight rather, in the Catholic school system. And you know, that’s a back then, especially when it’s a very good school system with the nuns, who really focused on the three R’s. And especially writing. And I’m not saying every every one of us can write, but certainly it inspired me to write and I was a very avid reader. And so when I was in high school, I was quite capable of writing papers, I used to type papers for other students and things like that. And so when I got to college, I started with the student newspaper. And the thing I ran into is they kept editing and changing my articles. I got a little upset with that after a while, when they would take an article I’d spent a lot of time writing and cut it in half. And not not very creative editing either didn’t come out very good. So I had an opportunity to move into radio, went and got my license. And initially just was being a college, radio station DJ, a bit of trivia WX pn, which is the FM radio station at the Penn campus was started by none other than Hamlet prince, the famous Broadway producer just recently passed away. Yes. And I while I was doing the entertainment radio, which is what I morphed into, I actually had the opportunity to interview him several times. And he was very gracious and cordial to allow a, you know, a college student to interview him. I think he did that. Also, because we were at the SPN station initially. And so I morphed into doing a entertainment radio show from seven to 8pm on a Thursday night, and about a year into that the W H Y. Y, which is the public radio station for the greater Philadelphia area, approached me and said, Dave, how would you feel about moving your radio program, which was called the arts Menagerie? How would you feel about when we got over to h y, y. And the advantage for me is that
Dr.David Schein 19:08
while WX, pn had a very good broadcast area, in fact, the two radio stations ironically had about the same power and about the same geographic coverage, the being affiliated with H Y, Y, and gave me a much broader access to traditional press outlets like I got invited to press luncheons, that things that involve the entertainment community, and it just gave me a foot in the door. So it was a very exciting time period. For me, I covered all sorts of things, and the show was recorded in the early evening, and then broadcasts from 10 to 11pm on the East Coast, and I would cover stage plays, fine art exhibits and would include interviews with different people. were touring. And I also provided reviews of different stage place and art shows. So it, it certainly opened a lot of doors for me. And of course, an experience like that. It’s a very maturing experience. I did not ever look at it as a business. But the business came about because of kind of an odd situation. I am one of those stone sober people. And I’ve never done drugs, I don’t really understand why you would want to do drugs. And I was doing this at a time when which I colloquially referred to as sex, drugs and rock’n’roll. And the summer before I started college was Woodstock, which famously was quite a celebration of sex, drugs and rock and roll. And so it was kind of a Woodstock generation. But what what I ran into was just a very, very just oddball situation. So there was an art gallery called the painted bride on South Street in Philadelphia, and South Street had been where all the bridal galleries were affiliated, and were associated they would be there was a neighborhood of art galleries, and it was kind of a neat area. And by 1970, South Street was a ruin. All the businesses had closed and there was a lot of crime and everything. So these fellows got together these art artists and art appreciator people started an art gallery called the painted bride. And what, what they did was, they would have live entertainment on Friday and Saturday night to help out local artists, you know, folk singers and similar performers. So they somehow connected with me, and I began to cover events at the painted bride. And what happened during that time period is South Street, blossomed into an arts district. And it became very popular and very trendy, and they had some high end restaurants open on South Street and other art galleries and
Dr.David Schein 22:18
nice bakeries, and all sorts of things happened during the several year period that we’re talking about. But in any event, I’m over the painted bride. And talking to some of the folk singers, and we actually had some of the folk singers come on my radio program and perform live. And you know, just with a guitar, they would just show up and you know, we didn’t do any special miking or anything, we just sit them back from the mic a little bit. So we got to do some pretty interesting stuff. But what happened was several the folks on yours approached me and they said, you don’t do drugs, do you? And I know that sounds like a funny question. But what was happening at the time, is that the traditional model is you have a manager if you’re a performer, most performers do not have business backgrounds. There’s a few out there who do, but most do not. And so what what would happen is, is that the manager would get paid for the evening, and we’re not talking about a lot of money, it might have been $60, it might have been $100 would be a nice night for folks. So you’re back in 1970. But if the manager was on drugs, the performer might only get 20 out of the $100 or might get nothing and so they became very concerned because they needed management help but they didn’t want some drug addict taking the bulk of the money or taking most of the money. After all, they had done the work. And so I began to to slowly represent some folks or years and once the word got out, it was all word of mouth. This is course before the internet, and I didn’t have the money to buy any advertising or anything. And so I we said we created an acronym. So the arts Menagerie is T A M. So we call the business operation tam productions. And I had an artist who worked with me a wonderful artist named Alan Walker, who sadly passed away about four years ago and Al did some wonderful artwork created logos and letterhead and things like that. And I would get on the phone and call various colleges mostly but also clubs and book the folk singers and then it morphed in added rock bands and add some fine arts and I put on some art shows to display the artists created artwork. So there’s a lot of fun and and I was able to break even I didn’t make any enormous amount of money out of it. If you can think about it. Somebody’s per forming for 60 or $100. The Management Commission is between six and $10. So you have to have a lot of $10 conditions to kind of pay the rent rent wasn’t bad. I remember the rent was around 110 or $115 a month.
Michael Hingson 25:19
Did you manage anyone who we might know?
Dr.David Schein 25:23
Well, unfortunately, not I, what happened is I was accepted to a full time MBA program at the University of Virginia, when I came out of my undergrad at the University of Pennsylvania. And so, because of the pressures of that, and leaving Philadelphia, were the artists all were local in the Philadelphia area, I turned over the business to a young fellow who had already started an agency and he absorbed my people. And unfortunately, and again, you know, pre email, I think the current generation forgets how much more work it was when you didn’t have mobile phones and you didn’t have email to stay in touch with people. And of course, I was, you know, working very hard at grad school. But I did unfortunately lose con contact. I do know that one of the performers, one of my very first performers that I worked with, did release a children’s recording around 2005 or 2006. I found that on the internet, and but I wasn’t able to find any of the other performers. I did have the opportunity as a member of the press to meet a number of very famous people, including Carol Channing. Helen Hayes, Edward Maul hair. Just quite a list of people. Probably one of the most fun luncheons I had was the rock promoter, Bill Graham. And Bill Graham came to Philadelphia as part of a tour. What had happened is that rock had exploded during the several year period that we’re talking about in the early 1970s. And it went from small venues like the Fillmore Fillmore east and Fillmore West, into big stadiums that could absorb the sound from the who and these other big groups. And so, Graham did very intelligent thing. He did a big concert promotion, run at the very end, and then close the two play analysis. And he released a triple album of the closing of the Fillmore. And so what happened was, is that as when he’s promoting that, I had an opportunity to have lunch with him. And of course, unfortunately, several years later, he died in a helicopter crash. But that was, you know, there, it was very interesting to get a chance to talk with him. Close up.
Michael Hingson 27:57
I remember being at UC Irvine one Sunday, and we learn that there was a symposium on the presidency. And one of the speakers was going to be Hubert Humphrey. So this was after he was vice president. Yeah, we have this little college radio station, we decided that we were going to interview him, there were a few of us. So we went over. And we learned where he they were going to park his limo, and then he would walk to the gymnasium to do the presentation. And we intercepted the car. And as he got out, we said, Mr. Vice President, could we interview you and and he was very gracious. He said, You know, after my presentation, I’ll be glad to talk with you boys. And and sure enough after the the meeting was over, the symposium was over. There were other people at a Gallup from Gallup polling organization. I remember even asked him a question. We were pretty impressed by Gallup being there but anyway, he did. Humphrey did his his session and came back out and they were trying to hustle him right back into the car. And he said, No, I promised these boys an interview and we’re going to do it. He did, which was was a lot of fun.
Dr.David Schein 29:15
You know, it’s interesting. You mentioned Hubert Humphrey. We talked a little bit about my high school days. And in order to get a full scholarship to an Ivy League college, I worked pretty hard in high school. And one of the things that happened while I was in high school is the beginning of the fall semester of my senior year, I was invited to the national citizenship conference, which was held in Washington DC, and I got to stay at the Mayflower Hotel, and just all sorts of exciting things happened. And one of the things I did while I was there is I went to the Hubert Humphrey for President headquarters. There you go. And I actually have a full color poster of Hubert Humphrey for president and I’d never displayed it, I did display it in my dorm room, briefly. So it’s got a few pinholes in the corners. But I haven’t in storage at this time. And I will probably put that up at eBay at some point. And you know, it should be a kind of a fun item. But it’s an authentic, I can vouch for it, because I personally picked it up in September 1968, from the uebert Humphrey for President headquarters. But it was very interesting. I do have a few other bits and pieces from my visit to their political office there. So and I’ve been, you know, following politics for, you know, very long time. And so, in addition to my interest in business is my interest in politics.
Michael Hingson 30:47
So you went on to Virginia after undergraduate school, right? Correct. Yeah,
Dr.David Schein 30:53
UVA, at that time, had a kind of a take off on the Harvard program. It was a two year case method program. And most of the professors at the Virginia Darden School, Colgate Darden School of Business, had attended Harvard and done their doctor Business Administration DBA program. And so it was a heavily case method program, which is why the Harvard system was was styled. And because of Charlottesville, being Charlottesville, especially back then today. It’s a hotbed of startups. But back then it was kind of a sleepy town that just happened to be hosting a top notch Business School. And while I was in their two year program, which is very intense program, the school moved into the top 20. And I think it’s been in the top 20 business schools since.
Michael Hingson 31:51
So you eventually went to the Wharton graduate school?
Dr.David Schein 31:55
Well, while I was an undergraduate at Penn, I attended, I took about a year’s worth of credit at the Wharton graduate division. And that was a very interesting experience. At that time. I don’t know how pennant structure today, but at that time, there was no barricade between taking undergraduate graduate courses. And so I took a full years equivalent at Wharton graduate. And as I finished, the people at Wharton graduate knew me because they started the first entrepreneurship center in the United States collegian Entrepreneurship Center. And the person who started that center, love to interview the young David shine. Because I was out there doing it, you know, with, you know, running it out of the second bedroom in my little apartment, and they got kind of a kick out of it. And they would periodically when I would blow through their building, they’d say, hey, you know, let’s talk to you for a few minutes. You know, what’s the latest and kind of things that you and I just talked about? They would talk to me about it as they got it started. And to give you an idea of recently UPenn opened an entire building dedicated to that entrepreneurship center. So that center has been very successful. But what happened was, is the Wharton graduate people said, you know, look, they and they were blunt, they said, Look, shine, we know you too well, we don’t want you to just stay here and get an MBA, go someplace else. And I was very ambitious and wanted to get my credentials. And the Darden School at Virginia was a similar program, they really wanted people who had been out working for, you know, two or three years and then come back for their doctorate, or master’s degree rather. But in my case, they they allowed me to come in directly from college, because I have, I did have the radio show. And I did have the business experience of having my own business. Now, if I had it to do over again, I would really should have gone out and worked, as we say, worked corporate for a couple years and gotten a little bit more background before I got my MBA. But you know, that’s, you know, that that’s all news at this point. And in fact, I went directly from the Darden program to law school. And my connection to Euston was, I had family here in Houston. And they said, Hey, we heard you’re thinking of going to law school, lunch, come down here and check out the University of Houston. So that was how I ended up at Euston.
Michael Hingson 34:32
What cause you though, to get a doctrine of jurisprudence or go into law, even though you had clearly been kind of going in another direction?
Dr.David Schein 34:41
Well, a couple of things that it I found that there were hitches. And frankly, I tried to get some legal help for like drafting contracts for my performers and things like that. And the attorneys that I worked with, I’ll be very blunt. On work was sloppy. They didn’t take, you know, young guy who was still in college seriously. They didn’t give us the quick turnaround that we needed with contracts and things like that. And so I said, you know, I want to make sure that I’m a different kind of attorney at a business attorney who really, you know, get stuff out the door quickly. And so that was one factor. The other factor is at that time, a number of major corporation print presidents were also law graduates. So people either had an MBA and a law degree or just a law degree, and had been moved into the corner office. So I saw it as, as a win win move to go to law school. If I had that to do over again, I would probably law schools interesting, because for most people, it’s a three year full time gig, or four year part time gig. And I would probably have taken some of the very generous offers I had finishing the MBA program and gone to law school at night on the four year cycle. So again, you know, there’s a lot of options that you come across on the road there, but I did do college, the MBA in the law degree back to back to back, and all of them full time. I did finish law school a semester early. So that that helped me a little bit.
Michael Hingson 36:28
Something that I’m curious about, you have, clearly so far, we’re talking all about your education, but you’ve done some pretty well rounded things, you’ve gotten an MBA, you went and got a law degree and so on. How did your upbringing and your your family life kind of shaped you to have that kind of mental attitude about going after education and just being really a survivor in what you did in college, and then later?
Dr.David Schein 36:59
Well, my parents worked very hard. Like I said, my mom did a little bit of gig work outside the house from time to time, but generally was a full time homemaker. And I can tell you, when you’re raising seven kids, and you’re doing a great job, which she did, she did a phenomenal job. That’s That’s dedication. That’s hard work. That’s you get you get up early, and you work hard all day. My dad, at the same time, had a successful military career. And he often worked a second job, especially when I would have been in middle school. Before we moved to Norfolk, Virginia, he works seasonal work in the evenings that would accommodate his military schedule when he was on shore duty. The way the Navy works, you’re on a ship for two years, and then you’re on shore duty for two years, and they rotate that. And so when he was on his shore duties schedule, he would work a second job to make some additional money and help keep the bills paid. So having seen my parents work that hard, certainly set a good example for us. The other thing, as I mentioned is my parents were they were pretty tough on us in terms of you will go to college, you will study hard, you will go to college. So my parents, you know, the paid attention to that and imbued us with this overall drive. My dad’s family had a business interest and so my father’s father was a mom and pop grocer in a small town in Massachusetts before the a&p opened the first major supermarket chain, open one of their locations in Taunton. Again, Tom’s a small town between Boston and Providence, and over on the eastern part of Massachusetts, but it was kind of interesting, because that’s a tough business and Joe shine. My father’s father ran that grocery store during the Great Depression, when people were you know, they were giving food away up the street to people who weren’t working. And here he was selling food. So he was a very creative person and in so the, you know, it’s kind of a blood line
Michael Hingson 39:16
there. What did you do after you got your law degree?
Dr.David Schein 39:23
Well, being here in Houston, Texas, it was pretty straightforward. A while I was in law school, second half of law school, I worked for Gulf Oil, part time you get on an hourly basis working with natural gas contracts. When I finished law school, I got a minor offer from Gulf that I turned down another offer from another oil company. And I turned that down and then I hit the right one is I was given a job offer by Shell Oil Company, and I then had a nice, brief career with Shell Oil I work for Shell Look, the three states in three years, I had two promotions in that time period. And it was a tremendous place to work. The people say, Well, Dave, it was such a great place to work. Why did you leave? Well, I left to be a manager at a midsize oil company. And part of the problem with a Shell Oil is it’s such a big organization, that if you’re very ambitious, the opportunity to move up tends to be a little slower, just because there’s so much competition, there’s so many people between you and the next rung up the ladder. So I did you have a great deal more physical freedom and opportunity to do more things with a smaller oil company. But that’s so I did, I went with another old company. And so my total corporate employment was about 10 years. And at that point, I hung out my shingle. And so I did private practice for about a dozen years after that.
Michael Hingson 40:59
You couldn’t convince them to change the name of the company from Shell Oil to Schein oil Hmm.
Dr.David Schein 41:05
Well, I’ll tell you, they after I left shell that they, at some point, shell did start a new ventures division. And I thought that was pretty interesting. And I actually knew some people worked in the shell ventures operation. And I think if they’d had that when I was still there and had an opportunity to go over there, that might have been a pretty interesting thing, because basically, shell would let some of their executives work on some of the startup company ideas. And I think that was a pretty creative approach. Shell also went through some major changes. It used to be there was shell, USA, and shell, Dutch Shell, that parent company, and then they kind of liquidated shell USA and created like Shell global or something like that. So the company did go through some changes, but that was after I left and gone to the technical Oil Company. Technical Oil Company was one of the big conglomerates at the time when conglomerates were sexy. Of course, ITT was the most famous one, Harold Geneen. But tenneco was a very successful adult, primarily, the money originally came from the oil and gas industry following World War Two. But unfortunately, while I was there, the company kind of self destructed. And one of the reasons why I decided to set out in private practice was I could see that the tentacle was on the way out. So organization, and I felt it’s better to get out there and do my thing. And, and that was a very interesting and enjoyable period. And you know, as I tell people, and I left corporate, and went out, hung out my shingle, and I did that, and never missed a mortgage payment. But, again, similar to starting my business in college, it was certainly not an easy path.
Michael Hingson 43:01
What did what did you do? What kind of law did you practice once you went out on your own?
Dr.David Schein 43:05
I have always been a small business representative. And my main focus is employment law. So I do a lot of business contracts, and I do lots of employment law. And when I was corporate, that was my responsibility. I was a human resource representative. I worked in industrial relations, which is working with unions when I was at Shell Oil. And then when I went to tenneco, I worked with unions and I also did a lot of retail employment law, technical at the time was operating about 500 large cell service gas stations in the south in the southeast, and I handled a bout 1500 EEOC complaints over a five year period, that’s a pretty good volume.
Michael Hingson 43:58
Well, somewhere along the line, you got involved in some way or another and Equal Employment and Disability Law and so on. I gather
Dr.David Schein 44:08
that is correct. When I was at tenneco, I was I got involved with the Texas Commission on employment of the handicap, which of course, we use the term disabled today. But Texas was actually ahead of the fence because this was in the 80s, the Texas law related back to the 70s. And so I did have an opportunity to work with a fellow named Bill Hale who headed up that commission for the state of Texas and was also kind of on the ground floor when President Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990. And then that was phased into effect between 90 and 94. So I was one of the early people understand it because it has a lot of the features that the state law passed. And you know, I’m very active advocate for employment of the disabled. As recently as yesterday, when I was teaching business law, I was talking with my students about the, the, you know, importance of consideration of how reasonable accommodation works under the Americans with Disabilities Act, and how the important thing is to take a look at people for what they can do, not what they can’t do.
Michael Hingson 45:26
Yeah, and of course, today, we would probably even call it the commission for the disabled, rather commission for persons with disabilities, because we really, the words do matter. And yes, saying I’m disabled, because I happen to be blind, should really be no different than saying you’re disabled, because you happen to be able to see and without lights, you don’t have a lick of probability of being able to travel around. But you know, we, we all have our challenges. And we also all have our gifts. So I appreciate persons with disabilities as opposed to other things. One of the I had a discussion with someone this morning, who was talking about the fact that I’m visually impaired, and I said, I don’t think so. Again, words matter, because I said, Why do you say I’m visually impaired? Do I look different? Simply because I’m blind? Is my whole appearance change visually? Because I’m blind? Yeah, I don’t like vision impaired because I think I have lots of vision, as I love to tell people I just don’t see so good. But I say and vision are enough synonymous that vision impaired is something I could tolerate, although I think that either I’m sight impaired, or you’re blind, impaired. And you know, one way or the other. We we work that out. But disability is a term that has to become different than what people have believed in and decided that it is because the reality is, having a so called disability has taught me that everyone has a disability, and why should I be different than anyone else, just because I’m in a minority. And of course, that’s a real problem, right? I happen to be in a minority. And the result is that people who are not tend to think, because we’re taught that way that we’re better.
Dr.David Schein 47:23
Well, I think, obviously, might be made some very, very good points there. And as a person who does management, training, for EEO sensitivity, and things like that, I emphasize the fact that there’s so many opportunities in life. And it’s interesting what you say, I have very good daytime vision. But I have large eyes. But I didn’t really realize they don’t look that big to me. But I have large pupils, which means that in light, I have to protect my eyes from too much light. And in the dark, I have extreme trouble seeing in the dark. So I’m one of those people that when I walk into a room late in the afternoon, or in the evening, the first thing I do is run for lights and turn all the lights off. Because that way I don’t trip and fall over something and I actually clear paths so that I’m able to function if if I don’t turn the lights on, and I decide to, you know, get up before daylight or something like that. So yeah, all of us have to make adjustments for whatever is unique about us. And probably a better word is saying what are your unique qualities and qualifications versus saying what are your disabilities?
Michael Hingson 48:47
And I think that’s an absolutely valid point. And one I wish more people would would recognize, how do you think the Americans with Disabilities Act? Looking back on it now? Because it’s been 31 years since it was signed? Yes. How do you how do you feel that it is really changed? Well, our our whole outlook on people with minorities such as I have, or have we really mentally changed all that much.
Dr.David Schein 49:24
You know, I don’t think we’ve changed it. First of all, I think the Act has helped. That’s, that’s number one. I think it’s a positive in itself. I think there’s a couple of major issues with it. One of them is that my experience, which is extensive, I’ve handled over 2000 EEOC complaints at this point, again, a very high volume when I was working with retail gasoline stations, is that the least competent federal agency I’ve dealt with which is really saying something when you consider how incompetent So many of the federal agencies are is, is EEOC, and in my experience with them has been that they’re there, they’re not serving the public interest, sadly, and they’re not well run, and they, they don’t train their people well. And I think if you’re going to have a dis, you know, a division that helps people with discrimination, that it ought to be a lot more effective that it should be number one focused on education before everything else. And I don’t see them doing much of that. Number two, what’s happening throughout the United States with the EEOC is they are flooded with complaints, they are flooded. And what the EEOC needs to do is they need to put a tough person in charge at each office, who, who sells people to get a life and show up for work and do your damn job. And pick out the cases that require attention that really should have attention. Because by trying take every case that comes in the door, they end up not giving good service to the people who are legitimately discriminated against, which is a fairly small percentage of the population, by the way. And they’re, they’re not, they’re not getting anybody’s job done. So I’d like to see them run a lot better than the alr. And I don’t have a magic wand for that. But that’s part of what I’m seeing, again, as somebody who’s had a lot of work with the the see. But in terms of education, I think that we have done a better job of sensitizing our population, particularly our younger population, to the realities of we’re all different. And I think part of making people more sensitive to what color people are protection of LGBT, and things like that, that if you know, as developing a more accepting population, and frankly, a better educated population. And Michael, you touched on some key points of that is that you, you have certain positives and attributes that you use to be an effective person. And that’s what we need to focus on is what are the pieces that somebody can do that makes them effective. And what I talked with my students about just yesterday is to if you there used to be if somebody would would come in to a employment application. And when we used to have paper applications, almost everybody courses using online today, but a person in wheelchair would roll into an office and say to the person at the front desk, I’d like an employment application. And the person that front desk would say, Well, sir, you’re in wheelchair, you know, we’re not going to give you a we’re not going to give you an employment application, because your wheelchair and the Americans Disability Act, of course, you know, interfered with that took a while for employers to figure that out. But to avoid that knee jerk reaction that this person can’t do the job, let’s focus on what they can do. And when somebody gets hurt at work and can’t do the job they could previously do. That doesn’t mean you just dump them on the street, it means that you make reasonable accommodation, and you try to see the best way to put that person to work. Do they have other skills, they may not be able to drive a truck or do certain mechanical things anymore? But are they capable of being a dispatcher or bookkeeping or sales calls? Is there someplace else that that person can be valuable to your company?
Michael Hingson 53:47
One of my favorite speeches that I deliver is called moving from diversity to inclusion is actually part mostly the second episode and unstoppable mindset. And one of the things that I talk about in there is how people deal with disabilities. And I actually play a segment from a television show called What would you do that John, Ken Jonas and IB, Elan ABC does, and this particular episode had? Well, the premise of the show is they get actors to play different roles. And they do it to see how people will react to uncomfortable situations. So they had in this case, two women from the Rochester Institute for the Deaf, they were deaf, and they go into this coffee shop where there’s a guy behind the counter who happened to be an actor, a a barista, and there’s a sign out that they’re looking for employees. And so one of them goes up and says, I want to apply for a job and the guy goes, well, what what can you do? And she says, Well, you have a kitchen job available here and he said Yeah, but you can’t do that you’re deaf. And she and by the way, this is only in the last 12 or 13 years. So it’s way post ADA. Yeah. And she says, well, but it’s a kitchen job, I’m not really being out here I would be in the kitchen. Well, but what if I need something immediately? And she’s, well, you could, you could write it down Well, I don’t might not have the time to write it down. You’re just not someone that I could hire. And the whole point is to see how people who over here this react and so part of the, the show, and they record it all, of course, part of the show had three HR people come up to this barista not knowing that he’s just an actor, and say, Look, you handled that all wrong. These people have more rights than we do, this is all recorded, these people have more rights than we do, you should have just taken the application written not a fit, and filed it and sent them on their way.
Dr.David Schein 56:01
Oh, my goodness.
Michael Hingson 56:03
And some, some others really hit the roof about what this barista guy was doing. And of course, they they intercept everyone and tell them what’s really going on somewhere on the line. But, but we really have still a very long way to go in terms of how we, we deal with so called disabilities. And it’s in part because of that show that I came up with this whole concept. And in reality, we all have disabilities, most of you are like dependent, and we love you anyway. But, you know, the, the fact is that we shouldn’t be judging what someone’s abilities are or aren’t. And it’s, it’s so unfortunate that we do well, it
Dr.David Schein 56:44
this is a, you’ve raised an important example. And as I indicated, that is the classic that I try and untrained people from, if you will, to have that knee jerk reaction, it’s like, let’s focus on what this person can do. And unfortunately, because of decades and decades of discrimination against people with disabilities, you have a very interesting situation out there, where when a person has been accommodated, and does get a position where the company has reached out and said, let’s see how we can get afford this person opportunity. A lot of times they tend to be great employees, and tend to have be very loyal to the companies that are more accepting and inclusive. And so it’s, it’s, you know, it’s a win win for the situation.
Michael Hingson 57:39
Sure. How did you get into education, college education, and so on from law?
Well, I had decided that as I left law school, that about the 25 year marker, that I would move into education, it’s just something I felt that that was an appropriate, you know, career path for me. So I did a, you know, a decade corporate and about 12 years in private practice full time. And then when my last kid left for college, I said, you know, it’s time for me to do something. And I had been adjunct teaching very actively. And what happened was, is I realized that with even though I had a law degree in an MBA, I was very well qualified, that without a PhD, I would not be successful and competing for tenure. And if you’re not a tenured professor, you know, that’s kind of the gold standard in higher ed. And so I went back to the University of Virginia where I’d got my MBA, and I worked on my PhD full time. And it was quite an eye opener. And I know we’re running out of time, I’ll just say very quickly. The MBA PhD program went very, very well for me, I did quite well like finished program a year ahead of my cohort, because I was so focused and went year round and so forth, managed to continue to work with my clients here in Houston, to you know, least keep keep the bills paid. But unfortunately, when I finished my PhD, it took me two years to get my first full time appointment. And the discrimination that I faced as a person who got their PhD in the mid 50s, H mid 50s. Whereas the traditional and this touches on classic discrimination. The traditional PhDs are in their mid 30s. So I was 20 years older than the normal quotation marks PhD recipient, and it’s been a bit of a struggle, so I’m very appreciative of the universities that did afforded me a full time teaching opportunity. And once I got into the track, I progressed from a visiting Peru Professor to a full professor to tenure, endowed chair, but I had to have that opportunity in the first place.
Michael Hingson 1:00:08
So in addition to all of that you mentioned earlier that you like to write even when you were young, what’s writing done for you, in all of your experiences?
Dr.David Schein 1:00:23
Well, you cannot get a PhD. If you’re not a writer, you cannot be a successful attorney without being a writer. And you cannot be an author unless you sit down in your write. And so one of the things that PhD did for me is it gave me the understanding of doing deep research and things like that. And that enabled me to write decline of America 100 years of leadership failures, which was released by postale press on Presidents Day 2018. And then my newer book, a bad deal for America, was released on Presidents Day 2022. And I’m hoping not to have a four year gap between that and my next book, but I am working on as we talked about briefly on a musical review, called novel T, the letter T. And it is a musical review of novelty songs from the 50s through the 70s and 80s, when there were variety of novelty songs that became gets on the radio. So that’s a throwback to my days of doing the arts Menagerie.
Michael Hingson 1:01:30
Flying purple people eater was Shep willing, I would assume
Dr.David Schein 1:01:34
you are very good. That is definitely in the list. And I’ll have to go back. And look I have one of my research assistants has been talking to the different publishing houses to make sure that we have the rights to to present that. So the review focuses on the music. There’s not a lot of text in between. But we actually through doing podcasts to promote my current book, met a gentleman, Douglas Coleman, and Douglas has a podcasting show. And he has actually written a theme song for the new musical. And that’s very close to being ready.
Michael Hingson 1:02:16
That sounds like a lot of fun.
Dr.David Schein 1:02:19
That’s the plan. It’s designed to be family friendly.
Michael Hingson 1:02:22
It should be that would be a good thing. Well, how do people get ahold of you reach out to you learn about you and your books and so on, as well. You’ve been an unstoppable guy. There’s no question about things. And you’re driven.
Dr.David Schein 1:02:39
I’m still working on it, Michael. It’s, it’s a it’s a work in progress. And my consulting firm is called Clermont management group. So we’re Wide Web Claremont management group.com. I am on Facebook. I’m on LinkedIn, Twitter, Geter, and I’m trying to remember some others. But I’m pretty easy to find and of course of both of my books, bad deal for America and decline of America are on Amazon.
Michael Hingson 1:03:08
So is there a specific email address or LinkedIn address or anything that people should?
Dr.David Schein 1:03:14
It’s D shine and you know, about the only hard part is my last name is s ch, e i n, it’s, it’s spelling. You know, the EI is announced sign for the German spelling. But other than that, if people can put in David de shine, and it’ll probably pop up several places. I think Amazon is got enough market power that that tends to pop up first.
Michael Hingson 1:03:40
Right? Well, David, thank you very much. This has been fun. And as I told you, initially, and I say, on the podcast, one of the reasons for doing this is to tell stories that will inspire people. And I’ve got one last question I’ve got to ask, what would you advise both for young people today and parents today, having grown up in a time when information wasn’t so readily available, or self-gratification wasn’t so readily available? Now, both of those kinds of things have changed and everyone wants everything immediately? How would you advise people, kids and adults?
Dr.David Schein 1:04:23
Well, I think it’s extremely important to mirror what my parents did, which is that the focus of childhood should be on education and a solid three Rs education. Even though I’m a business professor. I encouraged stem and I’d like to see us get as many children motivated for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math stem as possible in the United States because we are trailing other countries, and I would encourage parents to be involved in their children’s education. Trying to make sure that the children are getting a real education and not a bunch of political malarkey is let’s focus on the three R’s. And let the students when they get a little bit older, figure out how they want to move in life in terms of politics, and you know, those kinds of things. And everybody can get through college, again, this student loan dismissal stuff, clouds, the fact that there are plenty of scholarship opportunities. There are financial loans out there. The school that I teach at, we have 92% of our undergraduates on financial aid, many of that is grants, that doesn’t mean loans. I mean, that’s money, they don’t have to pay back. And so if students do well in high school, and they perform well, there are opportunities for them. And again, I’m living proof that if you if you’ve put in the time, and you do it, it can be I was successful as a corporate person and successful in private practice and successful in higher ed. But it came with putting in that time, and having that good parental support at home at the critical period when I needed a
Michael Hingson 1:06:12
course, if we’re going to be totally technical. And this was even a Jeopardy question recently, out of the three R’s. There’s only one that’s really an art. And that’s the reading because writing isn’t an art and arithmetic doesn’t start with. You are absolutely correct.
Dr.David Schein 1:06:31
I wasn’t a very good speller when I was in grammar school, and the nuns used to really take me to task I think spelling used to be a separate grade when I was in grammar school with the nuns. And I flunked several years in a row and you say, well, let’s get this straight. You are a young high school graduate, you’ve just graduated before you turned 80. How the heck did you get through flunking all those courses, and it was very straightforward. My mother was the secretary for the church operation down the street. And the nuns knew that Dave shine sometimes flunked spelling, and cursive writing, but he was a pretty smart kid, and his mom was right there with him. And so they passed me, you know, probably fourth, fifth and sixth grade. But what happened was, is when I got to that point where the light switch went on, and I said, Gosh, I can really do this, I had a very successful seventh and eighth grade, and then a very successful high school experience, because I did absorb that even if I didn’t show it on my report card.
Michael Hingson 1:07:38
And then you went on from there. Well, David Schilling, thanks for being here. We really enjoyed it. And I hope it inspires parents and kids and and I hope it inspires people to reach out to you.
Dr.David Schein 1:07:54
Well, I’m delighted to do it, Michael, it’s been an absolute pleasure to meet you and my folks of work with your folks to see about having you make an appearance on saving America
Michael Hingson 1:08:05
would love to do it. And for all of you definitely go find David’s saving America podcast. And we hope that you enjoyed this, please give us a five star rating. Wherever you’re listening to the podcast, go and rate us it’s the way we are able to, to know what you think. And of course, we like good ratings. We like to hear whatever you have to say and if you want to comment about this or any of our podcasts, feel free to email me at Michael M I C H A E L H I acessibe.com. And, or you can go to our podcast page, which is www dot Michael hingson.com/podcast. And check out whether it’s there or anywhere you get podcasts. Go check us out and listen to some of the other episodes. And we hope that you’ll join us again next time on unstoppable mindset. Thanks again for listening. And Dave, thanks for me. Thank you.
UM Intro/Outro 1:09:07
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