Monthly Archives: January 2015

Are you losing air?

It is one of the most depressing feelings while biking. I can be riding along; happy, outdoors, feeling strong and having fun. Everything is in synch and flowing until I feel myself slowing down and I can tell I am riding on a flat tire. I may hear a loud pop and a fast “whoosh” as all the air escapes at once or a soft, almost evil, hiss as my tire gradually goes flat. Or I may hear nothing at all and just have a soft tire. Either way it means I need to stop what I am doing, assess the situation, and take the appropriate action to refill my tire so I can get back to riding. Bike flat largeSometimes I have just gone too long without pumping up my tires and I  need to use my CO2 cartridge and add air, other times I have hit an unexpected bump in the road or run over a small sharp object and need to patch a hole before adding air. Occasionally my inner-tube has been neglected and ruptured in multiple places and I need to completely replace it with a new one before I can add air.

We go flat in our lives when we lose our work and life balance. How you refill yourself depends on the type of leak you are experiencing. Paul Blatz, founder and president of Good Leadership Enterprises, encourages leaders to utilize his 7Fs Wheel to understand where they may be leaking energy or if they have a major rupture to repair! The seven Fs that help us stay positive and moving forward as leaders are:

  • Future
  • Fun
  • Friends
  • Fitness
  • Finances
  • Family
  • Faith (spiritual)

Over time we can get distracted by the regular demands at work and lose track of our daily choices that keep us fulfilled in all seven areas. Then we may just need to take some small actions that “refill” all seven. Other times we hit a major bump and need to focus on one area that is losing air fast. When I travel for work I tend to ignore my extended family relationships and I need to remind myself to take the time to call my mom and check-in with her.

The Seven Fs Wheel (Seven Fs Tool) is an easy tool to carry with you and use to keep yourself “pumped up” and rolling along as a leader. TT and Ellie bike

Todd Thorsgaard

Leadership challenges

challengesAs my colleagues Todd, DeeAnne, and I began to ponder what we should write about this year, we decided that focusing on common challenges leaders face might present a thought-provoking and interesting framework.

So with that in mind, we surveyed several groups of leaders within the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities to ask them what challenges they were facing. Here is a short list of challenges that we gleaned from survey respondents:

  • Managing heavy workloads
  • Creating transparency/building trust
  • Holding people accountable; managing performance
  • Managing tightening finances/budget
  • Working collaboratively
  • Building relationships
  • Communicating effectively
  • Developing authentic leaders
  • Changing student populations
  • Managing diversity/increasing access
  • Building an effective team
  • Balancing work and life demands

This list is by no means complete and we need your help. Please post your response below to the following question: What is the most critical leadership challenge you are facing right now?  We look forward to hearing from you!

Since many people engage in New Year’s resolutions during this time of year, we thought it might be timely to focus our January blogs on the challenge of balancing work and life demands.

Happy New Year to you and your colleagues! Here’s to meeting leadership challenges in 2015!

Anita Rios

Happy new year!

Woodland Park free to use

Happy new year from all of us at HigherEDge!

As you read this, I’ll be visiting my family in Colorado. The time away will help me come back refreshed and ready to jump into several big projects in the new year.

Balancing work and personal life is a key for successful leadership.  What did you do for rest and refreshment during the winter break?

–Dee Anne