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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Celebration Seasons

And suddenly it’s mid-May and we are reaching the end of one of the most amazing academic years of our lifetimes.  Throughout my career, I was privileged to attend many of the year-end festivities for student organizations, student staff awards programs, appreciation receptions and other events designed to recognize and celebrate all the great work completed…

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Labels, Boxes and Identities

Several years ago, I was leading a workshop on True Colors (TM) for a group of faculty and staff as part of the Leadership UTSA program. One of the participants told me she generally didn’t like such things because she didn’t like putting people in boxes. A few months later, as we had used the language…

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Lead with Your Heart

Make exceptions judiciously. These two phrases combined were an important leadership lesson I learned early in my career. My first full-time job was as Associate Dean of Students at McMurry College (now McMurry University.) It was a great first job. I served as Director of Housing for our four residence halls which housed about 450…

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Feeling Blah?

I have a bit of a confession to make. I’ve been struggling with getting this newsletter out for the past few weeks. I’ve wondered if I need to change things up. Would a hiatus help? But none of the questions I asked myself resulted in helpful answers. It was all just a bit blah. Then…

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The Work We Do

Keyboard on desk

Max DePree, former CEO of Herman Miller, ends his book, Leadership Jazz, The Essential Elements of a Great Leader, with this story: “In the late fourteenth century, the members of New College, at Oxford, moved into their quzdrangle, the first structure of its kind, intended to provide for the residents all that they needed. On the…

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Once Upon A Time (Part 1)

Last week, I had the opportunity to present the closing keynote speech for the Professional Development Day Conference presented by the Academic Counselor’s Association at the The University of Texas at Austin. In preparing for the speech, I had a couple of insights I found interesting, so I thought I’d share the first part of…

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What A Year!

I’ve seen a few people on social media posting their experiences from a year ago – before COVID-19 changed our work and our worlds. I know where I was and what I was doing. On March 9, I talked with my class about the way we might structure class IF we moved to online learning…

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