I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions. The optimism of a new calendar year seems to quickly give way to the day-to-day realities of life, leaving all the great intentions of December 31st thrown to the curb like so many scraps of spent wrapping paper. But this year is different! An unusually restful winter break gave me the time and space to think about how I would like the rest of the academic year to unfold. With no further ado and on the eve of heading back to school tomorrow, I am committing to the following leadership resolutions for 2015:
1.) Dedicate more time to mentor colleagues. I am fortunate to work with a number of talented faculty members, all with a variety of professional goals. I enjoy this work immensely and want to spend more time helping colleagues grow in their careers. Our students benefit greatly by working alongside faculty who feel energized by their work and their own growth. My job as a leader is to create these opportunities and culture within the faculty.
2.) Improve communication within the community. I love the fact that my school is ambitious and is immersed in significant change efforts (e.g. new schedule, curriculum revision and alignment, etc) in support of our strategic plan. As a leader, a significant aspect of change management is ensuring that everybody knows what is happening, what decisions have yet to be made, and constructing ways for meaningful input. Doing so, however, requires smooth, consistent, and clear communication within the community. I am re-committing to making sure that channels of communication are understood, that colleagues have a chance to ask questions and offer input, and that communication flows in both directions. This area is always one for improvement!
3.) Slow down! The pace of winter break helped me recognize just how fast school can seem some days. To commit to and pull off the two previous resolutions, I need to simply slow down. Spending more time on the important rather than the urgent (see Stephen Covey) will be essential in this respect.
I have some good ideas that will turn these resolutions into habits, but this post is my starting point. Here’s to a great 2015!