“Study the past if you would define the future.” ― Confucius
We all seem to be living busier and busier lives with each passing year. But if we don’t take the time to reflect on the events of our lives and the lessons learned, all of that busy doesn’t get us very far or help us improve ourselves.
I spent the past week taking stock of the events in my life in 2018, to glean any bits of wisdom I could. This was a big year for me personally and professionally. I left a university I had worked at for 18 years to pursue a new position, relaunched my consulting business, was invited to deliver several keynotes, facilitate trainings, launched tip Tuesdays (my weekly blog). And finally completed the creation of my in-person supervision bootcamps which will launch in January 2019
Throughout it all were lessons learned; some lessons I learned the easy way and some the not-so-easy way. I thought I’d share those lessons with you today in the hopes that they may help you in the coming year become the best version of yourself.
Lesson #1: Change is Hard but Necessary for Growth
Maya Angelou said: “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”
Whether we’re trying to change something about ourselves or something about a course or curriculum, it is never an easy process. Change is creation and creation takes time, effort, and a willingness to see the change through to the end.
Recognize the value in change and commit to making positive changes in the coming year.
Lesson #2: Always Have a Plan
Change is not possible without goals, and goals can’t be reached without a plan, so always have one. Your plan should include the tools and resources you’ll need that will enable you to do your best work or find the next position for you.
Lesson #3: Trust Goes Both Ways
Many leaders focus on whether or not their staff and employees are loyal and trustworthy, giving little thought to whether they themselves are perceived as trustworthy by those they lead. Building trust takes time. You can’t force it and it goes both ways. Employee to Supervisor and Supervisor to Employee.
Lesson #4: Make Hard Decisions and Take Swift Action
Sometimes people are in positions that do not allow them to do their best despite good intentions and the support of the team and supervisor. Keeping someone in a position after you’ve come to this realization will have negative ripple effects to the employee, team and will prevent you from fully meeting student’s needs.
Lesson #5: Know Thyself
If your position does not provide you joy, or you find you’re constantly questioning your purpose, then be aware that your team, students and colleagues will all notice the change in you and will be negatively impacted.
Lesson #6: Don’t Leave Your Staff Hanging
When you realize it is time to leave a position, it is important to prepare your employees and staff for the transition. Also, recognize that leadership transition is difficult. Give yourself some time to adapt to the change and be open to new knowledge and experiences.
Lesson #7: Work Relationships are Complex
You are in a relationship with the people you work with. Therefore, sometimes you will be hurt and disappointed, but you have to navigate those feelings and determine how you will mend the relationship and still collaborate.
And speaking of collaborating…
Lesson #8: Collaborative Leadership is More Effective
Not everyone is going to buy into your ideas, but having the input of different opinions is necessary. Always invite a diverse group of staff into the conversation to help solve problems and create new opportunities.
I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season and I look forward to connecting in the new year. Thank you for reading the blogs this year!! We will begin again in January!
Debra Y. Griffith
Dean of Student Equity and Success at West Valley Community College
Consultant | Speaker | Coach |Strategist |Trainer