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Tuesday, April 10, 2012


I don't know how to explain it without just simply saying, "There are signs telling you what to do every day."  More on that at some other time. :0)  Signs. Signs. Everywhere are signs. Oh, and Oprah has always said you have to listen to the "whispers".  Another sign?
Difficulties come when you don't pay attention to life's whisper. Life always whispers to you first, but if you ignore the whisper, sooner or later you'll get a scream.
Oprah Winfrey, Stanford Commencement Address, 2008

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Building the Dream

Recently I went to ACPA and attended a session on unconventional leadership that was presented by Patrick Love and Tony Doody of Rutgers University.  That was the first session in a LONG time that has made an impression on me.  In the session they mentioned Fast Company as being a magazine that serves as a resource for them.  Fast Company??? Student Affairs professionals learning how to do student affairs work from a magazine based on company practices and innovation? When you think about it, it certainly works.  We're always looking for innovative ways to connect with students and our staffs. I used to get that magazine and no longer do. Now I'm thinking of subscribing again.

Oddly enough, a friend on Facebook shared an article he found on Fast Company's website this morning about "Overnight Success".  I've been trying to build an art business for the last 6 years.  I do okay with it but I could be doing a lot better.  However, I'm slipping into a groove and hopefully things will take off even more.  I keep trying new things and seeing what works and what doesn't.  Building an empire takes time!

Speaking of overnight successes or the myth of such, did you know this? 
The ubiquitous WD-40 lubricant got its name because the first 39 experiments failed. WD-40 literally stands for “Water Displacement--40th Attempt.” If they gave up early on like most of us do, we'd sure have a lot more squeaky hinges in the world.  - Fast Company article
 Who knew?  Makes you realize that you just have to keep trying until you get it right.  People will try to discourage you or change your course but if you have a vision - whether it's clear or not - as long as you believe in it you should go for it.

I was thinking about this in terms of working on a college campus.  Sometimes we are given the green light to do something and that's a wonderful thing.  Sometimes we have ideas and have no idea how to make it really happen.  Other times we have ideas that are out of our scope of duties.  How do you make an awesome idea happen whether in your own area or another area on campus?  Ahh, this is where it gets tricky.  I don't have an answer but my brain is always churning out ideas. So many ideas that I don't even have time to even begin to set the ball rolling on many of them.  I just put them in my "back pocket" and save it for any opportunity that comes up.When you hit those opportunities you reach into your back pocket and yell, "VIOLA!!" That's when you look like the rock star you are!

When you have idea and you do have the chance to put it into action, do you over think it before you even get it off the ground? Trial and error programming is how I like to operate. I don't have to have all of the answers - I just need to know what I want in the end. That's what I aim for and for me it's successful because it looks just like I had imagined.  In the world of activities on campus, I think imagery is everything with students.  Does it appear fun?  Does it blow their mind?  Have they ever experienced anything like it?  That's the realm in which I operate. This is something that was talked about in the Unconventional Leadership session.

One of my dreams/visions is building a site for Student Affairs professionals that will provide them with tons of nifty things.  I'm being cryptic about it because I don't want to let the cat out of the bag. I need to make time to build it.  After reading this article and pairing it with the presentation I attended, I'll start with it being simple and have ONE THING that blows the mind of the visitor and let it develop from there.  All of the hits and misses will hopefully become an "overnight success".

More on this journey later.