Information Technology needs a call to inspiration. Many technologists we know in Higher Education have been confused by the messages purported by others, and over time, forgotten the real purpose of serving as technologists within an institution. We believe campuses are ripe for a revitalization, and the return of the creative, disciplined spirit that brought with it so many technological innovations over the past few decades.
Compliance is a requirement, not an achievement. Those who base the measure of their success on reporting how well they comply with the rules of the business (or the rules imposed onto the business) are the same persons who believe stopping you from moving forward is part of their responsibility. That mindset needs to change.
The best way to enact your strategy is to get everyone else to support it (which contrary to popular believe is not an obvious strategy). Yet, few of us do it. The successful leaders we know understand that it has nothing to do with plowing through people and challenges, but everything to do with approaching the conversation with confidence while convincing others to join you.
Those who have conversations in higher education about budgeting need to remember to take a step back and recall how regular individuals talk to each other about budget adjustments. A quick online search reveals the simplest home economics example. In our time on campus, it's apparent: Budgeting is a culture, not an event.
When you return to campus after the next conference you attend, what will you take with you? Will your experiences be condensed down to entries on an expense report, or will you carry the conversations you had back to campus and turn that experience into action? If you want to start a revolution of action, you must not worry about what you cannot control.
IT’s role is to fit the technology desired by its constituents into an overall technology structure and vision for the institution. Institutional policy, connectivity to other systems, and expected data requirements drive decisions, which can make it difficult for CIOs pushing bigger items forward.
Big ideas need buy-in. And buy-in can only be established when leaders are able to properly convey ideas to their team and show them results. The best teams are results-driven, cooperative groups made up of people who respect individuals talents and know their own personal limits.
The summer months are very important to a campus. As a Community College, how these months are spent may impact fall head count calculations, which will then determine the allocated budget. As a University, summer activity culminates with the arrival of students on campus in late summer. Every day counts.
Always expect the best but prepare for the worst. It is neither optimism nor pessimism, but rather intelligent business prudence. Those practices can create the confidence needed to look others straight in the eye and tell them that you can accomplish what is needed, and then do it. Just like work ethic trumps ambition, principled action eats optimist for breakfast.
Those who can’t define their value by delivering measurable accomplishments will always attempt to prove their worth by eroding the reputation of those around them. Such individuals are referred to as “professional armadillos,” because every time they are asked to explain performance, they ball up into a very thick, hard, and effective layer of explanations as to why everyone else has failed, or is failing them.
We should never try to be who we aren’t, because success comes when the world responds to our authenticity. While authentic attitudes generate successful brands, quite often manufactured brands generate empty disinterest.
One of the most common complaints that I heard as a university administrator revolved around the concept of, “How am I supposed to do all of these tasks? There isn't enough time.” Truth be told, I didn't overwork my teams: I simply raised the bar and ask them to cut out the unnecessary items that occupied a good portion of their day. When was the last time you stopped to think about how much time evaporates between tasks? Upon introspection, one can often find some efficiency to be gained.
Over the past week, we have published 7 principles with the potential to make us better stewards of our personal gifts:
- Reach higher
- One by one turn “impossibles” into “possibles”
- Communicate clearly
- Create a Personal Culture
- Mentor those who depend on you
- Become a more aware citizen
- Live an “action based life”
The challenge today has two parts. The first one is to wrap these behaviors as a present to yourself and adopt them as a part of who you are starting now. In fact, we were inspired to write this series when we started hearing conversations a few weeks ago about resolutions for the new 2014 year and it became apparent that most of us wish for better, but we have a hard time conceptualizing how we may achieve it. In our experience the “how” comes as a result of an emotional investment and understanding the thoughts of our minds, the intentions of our hearts, and how the actions of our hands have the power to create beauty, understanding, caring, action, and love. The simple application of these 7 behaviors to your work, your family, your social groups, or your church, will guarantee you are spending at least part of your energy in changing the space around you instead of accepting it as it is.
The second part of today's challenge is: We would like for YOU to share your gifts with us. Write down a behavior that you find worth sharing here and leave it as a comment so we may benefit from the wisdom that makes you uniquely special.
Happy New Year!