Keep Striving

I came across the following quote recently.  While it is brief, it speaks volumes:

“Chance favors those in motion.” —  James H. Austin

I encourage you to continue to set small and large goals and focus on them with all diligence.  From volunteering in the community or church, finding professional development opportunities, getting that degree or writing that book…keep striving, keep researching, keep trying…to see what will work and what won’t work.  You’ll never know unless you try.  From Thomas Edison:  “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”  I love it!

 

 

 

 

Sharpen Your Saw: An Observation

On Sunday, I listened to a diverse group of young graduate students, soon to be professionals, share goals and objectives relative to the student organizations in which they hold leadership positions. As I observed, the principle that resonated with me was Sharpen Your Saw. I’ve long admired Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw, is one that often hangs in my memory. Admittedly, I usually only think in terms of attempts to stay mentally sharp but in reality, and in short, this habit speaks to the need to continually utilize resources and tools that will strengthen your overall ability to be productive and be a part of the change that you desire to see. Sharpening the Saw is about renewal.

During this leadership retreat, which was set in a peaceful camp and retreat center area, these student leaders were able to address the four areas wherein sharpening is necessary for renewal: physical, social/emotional, spiritual, and mental. To participate in the retreat, they had to be willing to step away from the rigors of law school studies and refocus their energies towards planning, brainstorming, strategizing, networking, and synergizing. As a bonus, they also had a chance to enjoy nature and engage in physical activities. I do believe that both the individual and student organizations represented will be the better for it.

In closing, I have to give props where they are due, for I was truly an observer only in these efforts; I did absolutely nothing to make it happen. With that said, kudos to the dean of Campbell Law School, J. Rich Leonard, for making the retreat possible and his staff who took part to ensure its success. One more example of successful collaboration!  Until next time, take a moment to sharpen your saw.

#studentleaders  #CampbellLaw  #StephenCovey

A Thought on Personal Commitment

He who has done his best for his own time has lived for all times.” -Johann von Shiller, Playwright. Another quote I’ve borrowed from Dr. John Maxwell’s book, The 21 Indispensable Qualities of A Leader.

When I read it, I thought to myself, “That can be a definition of success…to have done your best for your own time, the time in which you lived and had an opportunity to impact people.” You know where this mindset stems from?…Commitment! Yep, commitment is key, for it can manifest in various ways, from the productive work hours we maintain, to self-improvement goals, to sacrifices we make for team members, family, and etc. Commitment isn’t entirely selfless, for in the long run, we find that as we commit to do the best that we can with the time, energy, and resources we have, we ourselves are greatly impacted and blessed. Our reach goes beyond our time.

Have you ever transitioned positions or jobs and later heard from prior team members that you are missed because_______ or they learned ______ from you and are using that to make a difference? Often, these little but consistent examples of commitment seem miniscule, but like children, little acts can have a huge impact. Therefore, I encourage you to continue with commitment, for though at times it seems to be moot, insignificant, or mundane, it has the opportunity to make a difference somehow, somewhere, to someone. Michelangelo never knew that his reluctant agreement to commit to paint a depiction on the Sistine Chapel would evolve into a masterpiece and proceed to bless millions of people over the centuries. You don’t know how your commitment will proceed to bless countless others and I encourage you not to dwell on that. Instead, dwell on doing the best you can with the time, energy, and resources at your disposal, and have that which you do be genuine, your actions be consistent, and your heart be at peace. Tootles!

#Commitment #Influence

Racism and Higher Education

Hello Everyone,

The below is the most recent Executive Director’s update from *AACRAO, as posted on August 16, 2017.  I am sharing it because I feel it is well said and on point.  Enjoy the read and recall the quote from Dr. Maya Angelou:  

“Prejudice is a burden that confuses the past, threatens the future, and renders the present inaccessible.”

*AACRAO – American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers

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“The disturbing events in Charlottesville this past weekend have had a profound impact on many of us as we watched white supremist, anti-Semitic, and other racist groups march openly on the campus of the University of Virginia. While our awareness of these groups may have previously been limited, assuming they were largely confined to the dark corners of the internet, we now have no choice but to acknowledge that these groups are thriving and represent a significant threat to our core values.

One of the more troubling dimensions of the events in Charlottesville was that the participants appeared to be largely young, white men of traditional college age. A number were, in fact, identified as students at our universities. Any notion that those holding racists views in our country were confined to an aging population that would soon be replaced by a more tolerant and accepting younger generation were dashed by the blatant expression of hatred displayed by these young people.

It is clear that these groups espousing racist, white supremist, and anti-Semitic views see our campuses as fertile ground for their messages of intolerance. While the vast majority of us watched the events in Charlottesville with dismay, the organizers of the event and other hate groups seem to have been emboldened by the experience and have announced their intentions to hold marches and rallies at our colleges and universities in the coming months.

This cannot go unchallenged. We cannot be silent in the face of racist, xenophobic, sexist, anti-Semitic and homophobic acts/statements. Our silence is not only complicit, it’s an endorsement. These groups confuse our commitment to free expression for acceptance of their beliefs. They see our lack of explicit condemnation as affirmation that their views deserve equal consideration. And when we do speak out against their appearances on our campuses they often turn the tables and accuse us of hypocrisy and intolerance.

Our campuses have historically served as powerful voices in confronting societal injustices. From the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee organizing Freedom Rides that highlighted racial injustice in the 1960s to students and staff in the 1980s compelling their institutions to withdraw their investments in companies that provided the financial underpinnings for the Apartheid regime in South Africa, colleges and universities have stood on the right “side” of social justice. To allow groups to use our campuses to foment hate stands in the face of everything we have achieved.

What can we do to confront these groups? First, speak out. Engage with members of your campus who are working to create welcoming and inclusive communities. Listen to the concerns of students and “actively promote the expansion of ideas, perspectives, and understanding that comes from a diverse and inclusive community” as described in our AACRAO Core Competency on Diversity and Inclusion.”

As Maya Angelou eloquently stated, “Prejudice is a burden that confuses the past, threatens the future, and renders the present inaccessible.”

Jim Bouse, President

Paul Kyle, Past President

Tina Faulkner, President Elect

Tiffany Robinson, Vice President for Access and Equity

Mike Reilly, Executive Director

The 90/10 Rule for Successful Organizations and Leadership

Noted this from a communication from the Raleigh,  NC Chamber of Commerce

The 90/10 Rule for successful organizations and I would dare say, leadership, is based on simple math — 90 percent of your attention should be on people development, with the remaining 10 percent devoted to the task.

Whether a for-profit, not-for-profit, corporation, school, church, or otherwise, let us NEVER forget that people matter.  Moreover, let us never forget to make sure they know that.  #peoplematter  #leadership  #success  #organizations

Leadership Personified

Another nugget from Dr. John C. Maxwell regards a few pointers that leaders personify.  To make yourself the kind of person who attracts others,

  1. Love life!  Why?, because people are drawn to those who genuinely enjoy life.  ‘Nuf said.
  2. Give people hope.  Why?, because hope is a gift and we all love to receive gifts. Seriously, leaders can be characterized as “dealers in hope.”  Bestow hope to others, and they will be grateful for their interaction with you.
  3. Put a “10” on every person’s head.  Why?, because it is always in a team’s best interests to know that their leader expects the best of them.  Whether they rise to the challenge is up to them, but as leaders, they must have a sure understanding that your expectation is excellence.  Dr. Maxwell says that expecting the best of others helps them think more highly of themselves, and at the same time, it also helps the leader.   I see this quite often with a wonderful lady named Rosie O’neal. She is a minister and in every interaction with her, she encourages.  As much as possible, she pours into people to help them reach their potential.  People far and near love her for it.
  4. Share yourself.  Why?, because people love REAL people.  People appreciate leaders who share of their victories as well as challenges, struggles, the good and the bad of their journeys.  Few people have reached a mountaintop without bruises.  Fewer people still are willing to follow and respect those who are too prideful to admit it.

#leaders  #character #realpeople