Friday, April 15, 2011
Friday, April 8, 2011
- read the Minneapolis Star-Tribune on a daily basis off of my Kindle
- talked with numerous people in the Twin Cities area to better understand the school
- read multiple books and articles on what it means to be a college president
- pictured myself in the role and how I would react to different situations
- prayed with friends and colleagues about the position
- learned all kinds of things about myself through the lens of a college president
- learned about all aspects of the University by asking questions of my colleagues
- explored the housing market in St. Paul and Minneapolis
- made new friends at Concordia, St. Paul and elsewhere
- and much, much more...
But that now comes to an END...but rather than close this book and place it on the shelf, I have chosen to let it lead to a new BEGINNING. One of my strengths is that of LEARNER, so I have now begun to ask the question of what I have learned from this experience and how I can put that learning into practice for this new beginning. While my title continues to remain Dean of the College of Business, I am no longer the same Dean I was before October 30, 2010. I have been given a set of tools to use in this position that I did not have before, and my goal is to use those tools in this new beginning. Here's are the questions I will ask to guide me in this journey...
- Understanding more deeply the big picture of a university, how can I position my College to expand and grow at an even quicker rate?
- Having put in place an interim succession plan, how will I use that to develop people in their leadership skills and capacity?
- Having had to consider a vision for an entire University, can a vision for the College of Business now be even more robust and energizing?
- Having pictured myself in the role of President, what can I take from that to leverage my role as a Dean of this College?
- With many friends and colleagues having told me they are glad I am staying at CTX, how can I now better serve them in reaching their goals and dreams?
- How will what I learned about myself through this process prepare me for what comes next in my current role?
- Having made many new connections, especially at CSP, how will I not only keep those alive but partner with these new friends to serve God's Kingdom?
- Knowing that a part of my "falling in love" with CSP was its urban/diverse setting, where and how will I use that passion to further the Kingdom of God?
- Having tasted the role of being a college president, what are the next steps in my growth toward having that opportunity in the future?
- What questions are important for me to ask - especially over the next month - to fully realize the learning I can receive from this process?
I am excited about this beginning - it is almost as if this is the first day of the rest of my life. And though the ending was not what I might have wanted at this time, I know that this beginning is just that - a BEGINNING that will have yet another ending of which I am not aware. And so, I end this story with a beginning, and share these words which I came across the first morning of my new beginning...
I leave all things to God's direction, He loves me both in joy and woe.
His will is good, sure his affection; His tender love is true, I know.
My fortress and my rock is He: What pleases God, that pleases me.
Friday, April 1, 2011
- believe that the process is good, right and proper. Trusting the process means that you BELIVE in the process and that the process will yield the best results for the organization or the individuals involved
- understand it is out of your control. The instinctive action for leaders is to take control - it is in their DNA. And yet, it is that control that can often interupt and flaw the process. Just as helping the butterfly out of its cocoon will destroy the butterfly, attempting to speed a well designed process along can destroy the outcome
- trust the people involved in the process. Yes, all human beings are flawed - and literally all thinking is flawed as there are no crystal balls in the room. And yet, almost all people want to make the best decision available at any given time. Believe that people will act in the best interest of the organization and bring all their decision making ability to the table
- know that there are multiple right decisions that can be made. There is very seldom ONE right decision in any decision making process. In my case, there are three competent people who have interviewed for this position - all three can lead this institution into the future. Thus whatever decision is made will be the best one for this time and place
- Know that people sometimes make mistakes. This may be in paradox with the above idea, but sometimes groups of people (or individuals) make mistakes and the decision turns out wrong for the organization. For the most part, organizations are resilent and will outlast the poor decision
- understand the dynamics of groups making decisions. I know that as the Board of Regents for Concordia University, St. Paul gathers on Monday to make this decision, they will be bringing multiple views, values, and assumptions to the table. They will hear and interpret the information in different ways, and they will then decide on a decision making process that best reflects them as a group. Another group might make a different decision - and they might both be right
- Believe that there is a bigger plan that goes beyond this one decision. As I consider the vastness of God's creation and the idea that there is a big wide world out there, this one decision (or any one decision) is often insignificant in the big (I mean REALLY big) scheme of things. While I consider this a HUGE decision, there are billions of people who could actually care less (that's a humbling thought)
- Trust that God is always in control. My faith in a God that is much bigger than I can even imagine allows me to believe He is in control of not only this one decision, but of the future of the institution and of my future. This is not only conforting for me, but also for my hopes and dreams for Concordia University, St. Paul.
And so, let me close this "chapter" of my blog (and of my life) with this prayer:
Heavenly Father, as you have promised to be with us always...and as you have promised to even "count the hairs on our head," I trust that this decision is now in your hands. As you have chosen 17 people to serve Concordia University St. Paul in the capacity of Regent, so now use their gifts, talents, and wisdom in choosing that person who will lead your University into the future. Give peace to those who anxiously wait for this decision - and allow the three candidates to see how you will use our gifts, talents and wisdom to best bring about your Kingdom in the days, weeks, months, and years ahead. Help us (and others) trust the process as we place our lives into your hands. Amen.