What is Fair?

Many summers ago, I was working in the only real legal job I ever had. I was serving as a law clerk with a small outpost of a large legal firm. The lawyers were part of the labor and employment law of this firm. I hadn’t yet taken those courses though they proved to be…

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One Small Change

I was wondering about the topic or this newsletter and found this week’s quote in Seth Godin’s daily, yes daily newsletter. (And I’m a faithful reader. It doesn’t hurt that he mostly writes short essays, but I also find tidbits regularly.) And then I found out I’m currently hanging out in one of the many resting…

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What Can You Let Go?

I’ve had a couple of conversations about burnout this week. On the one hand it’s much too early in a normal academic year for so many people on campus to be so worn out. But of course, this is anything but a normal year. What’s a leader to do? I’ve heard of several situations where…

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Storytelling as a Leadership Skill

What stories are you telling these days? What stories are your campus leaders telling? When I entered the phrase “storytelling as leadership” into the Google search bar, it told me there were more than 71 million pages to review. In other words, the idea that leaders need to be able to tell a compelling story is…

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Changing Perspectives

It’s almost too much to take in right now, isn’t it? The amount of change and disruption we’re facing at home, in our organizations, and in the broader world is overwhelming. And for many of us one way to cope is to focus on the immediate, on what’s right in front of us. We ask…

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Trust, Rules, or Guardrails, Oh My!

Many years ago, one of my colleagues who served our campus as the Equal Employment Opportunity officer and who had spent her career in the world of Human Resources, told me, “I used to think there were only two things we didn’t have to tell people about their jobs – you don’t sleep on the…

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How Did You Learn to Take Risks?

Last week in Inside Higher Education, Matt Reed, who writes a column called “Confessions of a Community College Dean” wrote a column about risk and reward that raises an important question for which I have no answer.* It’s still one worth grappling with. A former student came to him for help asking to change some…

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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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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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