Celebrating our vision

I’m writing this from the fall academic and student affairs leadership conference. Over the past couple of days I’ve had numerous opportunities to hear about leaders who are anticipating change, championing improvements, and sharing their vision for the future.

This year’s theme centered around our commitment to eliminating educational disparities experienced by our students. We began with a talk from Ron Anderson, Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs. He talked openly about his role as a white male coming from a position of privilege and power. By modeling self-awareness and openness to learn, he inspired each of us to think about what we can do from whatever position we might be in.

The final dinner included awards for groups and leaders who demonstrate excellence in programming, collaboration, and innovation. Hearing stories about people who work every day to serve our students with passion and creativity gave me new ideas about what is possible. Several award winners talked about their discomfort with being in the limelight and spoke about the teamwork that made the accomplishments possible. It made me realize that these events are only partly about the winners. They’re also about providing the rest of us with a clear picture of the vision.

As a leader, what ways have you found to recognize people who embody your organization’s goals? How can you acknowledge their work and inspire others?

Dee Anne Bonebright

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