The Best Laid Plans

The first time I did the Myers-Briggs test, I was lucky enough to be part of a workshop led by a very good facilitator. For each element measured by the test, the facilitator divided us into several small groups based on our test scores and gave us question to discuss. For one question, he asked…

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What Do You Value?

Organizational values. Most organizations have official statements of values, printed in documents and on websites, sometimes posted on walls. Sometimes we even talk about them or perhaps it’s more accurate to say we pay them lip-service. However, in my experience, clarity about our organizational values is not only important, it’s practical. Matt Reed, who writes…

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The Road to Success

If you had watched me during my first semester in college you might have been worried about my chances for success. I lived on an honors floor in a twelve story tower. I had a roommate who must have looked like the perfect match on paper. We even had a class together – five hours…

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Why We Need Rituals Right Now

Higher education, college campuses, are chock full of rituals. Commencement is the flashiest one, though welcome convocations and orientations are close seconds. But there are other rituals and markers. For me the day the RAs start training is the beginning of the new academic year. For others it may be the beginning of sorority recruitment or…

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What’s Your Capacity?

Supervising staff is one of the most challenging tasks we have, isn’t it? Is it that the staff member doesn’t understand the task? Is it that they are overwhelmed? Is it a matter of a mis-match in communication styles? Are they unable or unwilling? Sometimes though, it’s not about ability or willingness, it’s more of an issue of…

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Realized Potential

Occasionally, I look at prior newsletters from UTSA and UT Austin to trigger ideas about topics, but today, as I am on the road, I’m going all in and just reprising an oldie. This is from the UTSA newsletter in August of 2009 and I’ve left in the UTSA specific references. Max De Pree is…

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Complex Organizations, Complicated People

Years ago, President Powers at UT Austin was invited to speak to a group of people who supported the various ministry groups located around campus – ministers, rabbis and imams. The Provost and I were invited to attend and, unexpectedly, we were asked if we wanted to speak. Difficult to say no in those circumstances.…

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Start Where You Are

Regular readers of this blog may have discerned that I have subscribed to a lot of newsletters. Some of them are new – I just subscribed to Matthew Dicks daily newsletter. Others, like the Ripples newsletter and A.Word.A.Day, I’ve been reading for many, many years. Daily, weekly, monthly they appear in my inbox and bring…

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It’s the Mondayest Tuesday Ever

I saw this quote on Facebook yesterday. Unfortunately, I don’t remember who posted it to give credit, but it seems appropriate even though this is Wednesday. Yesterday wasn’t a bad day, not even mildly difficult actually. But last night as I was getting ready for bed, it hit me – it was Tuesday, not Monday.…

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Fun Professional Development Is Not an Oxymoron

I learned early in my career, as an RA I think, that I don’t believe in the concept of mandatory fun which is an oxymoron if there ever was one. You know what I mean, that after-hours get together that is supposed to create camaraderie, but is unlikely to make anyone happy – other than…

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