Courage, Creativity, Community

My time.

This May Day, 2019, marks two years since I started work at the University of Rochester. I continue to be appreciative of this place that has offered me so much in terms of opportunities for collaboration, leadership, and innovation. I love my position for its scope (big enough) and its variety (weird enough). I work with brilliant people whose work inspires me to do better. That is very rare quality of culture, in my experience. A quick note that we’re hiring, I can’t resist. While no place is perfect, this is a very good place.

It’s not hard on the eyes, either.

image of the rush rhees library surrounded by flowers and flowering trees
Rush Rhees in Springtime Splendor

Two years is a great time to reflect and meditate with gratitude on all the good that has come from deciding to come work at the University of Rochester. My husband and I bought a house, even. Can you imagine? Here’s the truth- I always wanted a house so badly and it never felt like a thing I could have. Rochester gave me that- and the University or Rochester even helped with our downpayment. It’s incredible. I love my city, love the friends and community we have found. I am as content as I get.

But let’s real talk. Are you a person who gets restless? Does ambition and a desire to improve things mean you rock tumble ideas in your brain long after you’ve left work? I am. I’ve rock tumbled on this blog post from Chris Bourg, and more specifically the quote below, for years.

“If all of you who don’t want to play politics, who don’t want power and influence to change your values, and who want to have a healthy work life balance shy away from leadership positions; it might mean that you are leaving leadership of our profession in the hands of those who aren’t concerned about those things.”

In that process, I have come to terms with my own ambition, and I have come to better value my own experiences and insights. It’s been two years of learning to doubt myself as a leader less. Maybe it’s better put to say that I trust myself more- and that’s a big deal. Literally, I feel like my boss may have sent me to TRLN Management Academy for that purpose. For better or worse, I am now confident I want the opportunity to advance into administration and positions of leadership. What’s more I think I’d be good at it! That’s growth, team.

That said, these two years have been the fastest of my career, and I am eager for more time to do the job I do now, to get better at it. It’s a tremendous privilege in collections particularly, where the work is deep and intensive in terms of data and outreach, to shift timescales from year long projects to multi-year project campaigns. Recently, as part of team I helped develop the 2018-2025 Strategic Plan and it was such a marvelous visioning opportunity to consider the work past that five year horizon that has existed as such a powerful barrier to the long-view in my own thought process.

I’m hoping going to try to share more about this, in terms of my professional ambitions, my experience of practicing power at the middle, and how my work is continuing to evolve. Time spent reflecting on practice and sharing my thoughts is also time well-spent, that I hope is useful to you too.

Here’s the years to come. 







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