- 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.