Friday, August 1, 2014

day one

Today is day one of my new role as Chief Executive Officer for Concordia University Texas...wait, did I just type that?  It is both an exhilarating and humbling feeling to have walked into the building this morning and see this sign posted on the office:
We all go through multiple day ones during our life time - the first day of school...the first day on a team...the first day of college...the first day of a new job...the first day of marriage...the first day as a mother or father...the first day on a new board...and the list continues for each and every one of us.

So what should a leader consider on their day one?  Here is a list of items I have been thinking about:
  • Get prepared - read everything you can about the new role, talk with others who have been previously in that role, and think deeply about what you want that role to look like for you
  • Take stock - look around and get a sense of what the new environment looks like...walk, look, listen, and get comfortable in what will be new surroundings for you (both  physical and mental settings)
  • Arrive early - don't be the last one to show up...and use the time to meet those around you and learn about the environment.  Nobody wants to apologize for being late on day one
  • Be humble - ask a lot of questions.  It's okay to feel as if you don't know everything, because you really DON'T know everything.  Rely on the people who have been there and are a lot smarter than you
  • Be confident - you are in this role for a reason (whether you wanted to be or not) so take the seat that has been given you (again, both physically and mentally).  Don't be afraid to take a chance, even on day one
  • Lean into the role - this is YOUR day one, so make it special.  Take the mantle (whether you have a title or not) and enjoy the role given to you at this time and place
  • Relax - everything will be different a year from now as you learn the ropes of the job and the organization.  Remember that this is day one, and NOT day 365
  • Pray - in the doctrine of vocation, we believe that God uses his people to serve others in this world.  You have been placed in this new role and place for a purpose, so trust that God is walking with you during this day one
People have asked me what I am going to do one day one...and my reply is that I will do much of the same as I have been doing all along, including writing this blog as I do most every Friday. I hope that you will be looking forward to any upcoming day ones, even if it is just today being day one of the rest of your life.


Ben Haley said...

Congratulations Dr. Christian!

Mr. Black said...

Congratulations Don! This couldn't have happened to a nicer Cubs fan! :)

Michael Uden said...

God's richest blessings on this new chapter of your ministry and leadership story! Congratulations, Don.

gmoore said...

Congrats Don - well deserved.

Brian Becker said...

God bless you in this new adventure! So proud of you my friend.

Chan McDermott said...

Gosh -- I feel like a rock star to be mentioned in your blog! Thank you so much for your thougtful and entertaining presentation.