Justin Kerr launches book tour at Cornell College

The self-proclaimed “efficiency monster,” Justin Kerr is kicking off his newest book tour at Cornell College on Tuesday, Nov. 7, at 6 p.m. in the Thomas Commons.

Book cover of Justin Kerr's new book“How to be a Boss” is a follow-up to Kerr’s “How To Write An Email,” which are both books that help navigate the early years of a professional career. The pages of “How to be a Boss” captures the story of the frustrations that come along with being in charge of a team of employees and the joys of middle management.

After a successful visit with Cornell students in 2016, Kerr immediately thought about Cornell as the place to start spreading the word about his new book. He said it all came down to loyalty and subliminal messaging.

“I really connected with the campus and the energy of the students—they asked great questions,” Kerr said. “Perhaps just as importantly I have been drinking coffee out of a Cornell College mug every morning for the last 15 months, so there was probably some subliminal impact on my psyche which influenced my decision to launch the book at Cornell.”

Justin is also the mouthpiece of MR CORPO podcast and has been the youngest senior executive at some of the world’s biggest apparel companies including Old Navy, Levi Strauss, and UNIQLO (Asia’s largest retail brand), running billion dollar businesses while finding time to write 14 books, tour the country with his rock band, and keep 100,000 bees on his roof.

Photo of Justin Kerr
Justin Kerr

“I had been working in corporate America for 15 years (with a lot of success) and yet none of it mattered,” Kerr said. “I have always been more obsessed with doing something new—whether it was beekeeping and having 100,000 bees on my roof or playing the tambourine in a punk rock band—it was the stuff I did outside of work that really made me feel good. The reason I say all of this, and the reason that I tell people I’ve written 14 books, toured the country, run a record label, and launched a publishing house, is because it’s the best proof I have that I must be good at my ‘day job’ if I can leave the office by 5 p.m. every single day so that I can get to the ‘good stuff,’ which is the important stuff—people, art, beer, and life.” 

Kerr looks forward to sharing plenty of dos and don’ts as students think about life after Cornell. One of his biggest pieces of advice for students is to simply “use bullet points,” and he hopes students walk away from his upcoming visit with one main message.

“If you treat other people like human beings instead of employees, everything in your life will be better, happier, and richer,” Kerr said.

Kerr’s visit is sponsored by the Berry Career Institute and Student Senate. The event is free and open to the public.