“To develop awareness, you must be able to gauge not only where you’ve been, but also where you want to go.”
Today, I attended a homegoing celebration, also known as a funeral, for someone beloved. He was my sister’s father, a guy I’ve known since before she was born, and someone who was genuine. I’ve always loved the fact that he was forthright. He loved deeply and could be a little gruff, but he never hesitated to be himself. In doing so, his sincerity touched a lot of people, as evidenced by the remarks at the funeral. I also found that he’d served on the trustee board at his church. He truly was an involved and beloved person. Doesn’t mean he was without his faults; it simply means that he used his time to love on people and to live with purpose.
A part of the program stated that you’d often find him reading the newspaper and listening to gospel music, loudly, which brought about a chuckle from many, to include myself. I realized that he lived the advice to “be where you are.” Further, because of the wonderful people I met or was reacquainted with today, I feel my life has been further enhanced because my path crossed his path 40 years ago and because of my sister, our paths have remained crossed. As I reflect, I hold to the fact that we can choose to define the richness of life on so many factors other than money. The quality of the people with whom we form and maintain relationships can help determine our emotional and mental wealth. Let us strive to have our richness be to our benefit, and not to our detriment. To reach the mountaintop and be alone or to be surrounded only by those who want something from you is an unenviable position. Let’s strive to surround ourselves with quality people. Not perfect people, for they don’t exist, but people who enrich our lives and leave us wanting to be a better version of our former selves.
As I’ve posted previously, I volunteer as a Guardian Ad Litem and advocate against child abuse and neglect. In our juvenile courtroom, GALs sit at the middle table of the bar area, alongside the GAL Program attorney, to field questions from the Juvenile Court judge and speak on behalf a child. Recently, our GAL Program director asked what it meant to sit at the middle table. My response is below:
“Being a part of the team at the middle table in the juvenile court-room means using my life and my voice for a purpose bigger than myself. I truly do believe that “children are the messages that we send to a time we will not see.” (John W. Whitehead) Sitting at the table means having a hand in positively impacting a child, a message, for the future.”
Whatever your passion, I pray that you are able to follow it and make a difference in pursuing it. Tootles!
#volunteer #childabuse #passion
Below is the introduction to an article that I co-authored and was recently published in the SACRAO (Southern Association of College Registrars and Admissions Officers) journal. Understanding our team members and their motivations not just for working hard, but also for working well, are key to maximizing productivity and having a well-run office. This is regardless of whether you have 1 team member or much larger numbers to manage. You can view the full article at https://www.drconnieshipman.com.
Being chosen for a leadership position is only the beginning of becoming a leader. To
become more than “the boss” people follow because they are required to do so — or to
become someone employees will want to follow at all — leaders must master the ability
to invest in people and inspire those around them. Simultaneously, in order to succeed
in a leadership role, one must build a team that consistently produces measurable
results. There are multiple paths to explore along the journey to reaching the “pinnacle”
of leadership (Maxwell, 1999), where your influence extends beyond the people who
are in your immediate sphere. During the journey, you are not only learning how to lead
people and encourage their professional development, you should also be engaging
in self-reflection on your leadership and communication styles. Time may feel like a
limited resource, but being more purposeful about understanding employee motivation
and “crucial conversations” (Patterson, Grenny, McMillan, & Switzler, 2012) will help you
lead an efficient and motivated team and ultimately make everyone more satisfied with
This article is based on a presentation by the authors at the American Association
of College Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) conference in April 2017.
During the presentation, we explored levels and sources of leadership, promoters and
deterrents to motivation, and the importance of proper communication as it pertains to
development of people and teams. Points were infused with examples of challenges
and triumphs throughout our careers to date, as well as best practices used to motivate
individuals across small and large teams. For purposes of this paper, we have created
two scenarios we believe will be relatable, reviewed the information presented in
the AACRAO session, and discussed how that information can be applied in these
#leadership #motivation #teams #employees
For 2018, I am rereading Pastor Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional and decided to share one that was particularly thought provoking from a few weeks ago, as it promotes a call to action BY YOU, whether it be via community volunteerism, advocating for a cause via your job, church, or wherever the opportunity arises.
“One key to discovering your destiny is to identify the needs that stir your heart. What is it that upsets you? What causes you to think, “Somebody ought to do something about that”?
Whatever it is, that is the key to your destiny. My wife, Kay, calls it being seriously disturbed. Why? Because, it bothers you so much that it moves you to action. Is there anything that disturbs you or is your life so insulated that nothing makes you say, “Somebody ought to do something about that”?
Here is a homework assignment: Make a list of the needs you see that disturb you. Then pray and ask God to show you ways you can use your gifts to make a difference.”
For me, it remains advocating for children who have been abused and/or neglected. It’s something I’ll never understand and I’ll never stop fighting against. My newest “disturbance” is childhood food insecurity in America. It’s a larger problem than I initially thought. I’m looking forward to making some level of impact in 2018.
What about you? Share your “disturbance” and your plan of action! It may not be something global, it may be something simple…and that’s ok. The goal is to set a goal to make a difference, whether it be in the home, in the community, in the country, or in the world.
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!
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
“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!
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
“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