As part of our leadership development process, participants in WLDI are invited to build a personal alignment plan that brings together various aspects of our values, beliefs, and core personal and professional goals. As part of this process we are also asked to identify some of the key obstacles/constraints that might be hampering us in living and working authentically. The key idea for me is this issue of “alignment,” in that we have been asked to critically reflect on whether and to what degree our daily practices (in terms of behaviors, time management, priorities) truly align with our deepest values and aspirations.
Personal Mission: To pursue a life of meaning with courage, passion, integrity and humor. To provide materially for those I love while reveling in and enjoying the beauty of this life. To create positive change in the world while honoring its complexities and contradictions.
Professional Mission: to lead a higher education organization with passion, wisdom, vision, humor, and grace. To cultivate opportunities for those I serve to grow to their fullest potentials as human beings. To inspire those around me to become transformative members of their communities.
Identity: I am a believer, a truth-seeker, a meaning maker, a lover of life. I am flexible and strong, resilient and hard-working, comfortable with others but willing to stand alone. I am passionate and caring but fun. I inspire others to be better. I am a healer and a teacher, a guide and a friend. I am patient and kind, an excellent listener, but also discerning and wise. My greatest love is being a father, where I am able to be my best self in all ways.
Learning Style: I am equally an Enthusiastic and Practical learner, which means that I like to jump into problems and situations and to process by doing. I enjoy working with others, but also need to time to reflect on things on my own. This combination of learning styles can sometimes be a little confusing to others, as I often need to engage and then disengage from group work in order to reflect and re-energize. I can sometime strike other Enthusiastic learners as taciturn and withdrawn; and I sometimes strike Practical learners as a bit theoretical and “flighty.” All in all, though, I have found this combination of learning styles to be very advantageous, particularly as an academic administrator.
Core Values: Passion, Vision, Openness, Reflection, Courage, Connection, Hard Work, Centeredness, Change.
I look for solutions. I encourage other people to grow. I give good advice. I see (and value) other points of view. I ask questions. I push myself. I am mindful and present and thoughtful. I do not let fear stop. I value change.
Capabilities/Strengths: Strategic, Futuristic, Positivity, Learner, Achiever.
Behaviors/DiSC Style: Influencer (i); with additional shading that includes “Support” (which is uncharacteristic of the “i” style).
- Generating Enthusiasm: I like to maintain a positive, upbeat attitude. Open and expressive.
- Taking Action: I like excitement and fast movement. Energized by innovative, ground-breaking solutions.
- Valuing Collaboration: I am friendly and outgoing, and enjoy meeting and interacting with new people.
- Providing Support: I put a high priority on supporting others, making it clear that I’m happy to help others, and am non-judgemental in most situations.
Constraints: Meaning-making, fostering relationships, and actualizing my values are extremely important to me; because of this, I have trouble acting in ways that contradict my core beliefs/sense of social justice. Navigating personal and professional situations that require that I compromise my core values/beliefs can be difficult.
Because I invest a great deal of mental and emotional energy in work, it is often difficult for me to disconnect from my job; I need to continue to focus on maintaining a healthy balance between the personal and the professional, and to safeguard some of my attention and focus for my family, friends, and for myself.
I want to learn to manage difficult work relationships/conflicts with more skill and grace, and in ways that cause less emotional and psychological stress–particularly to myself. That is, while I think I do a good job of dealing with conflict in positive, constructive ways, it comes at a cost. I need to be mindful of my own mental and emotional needs.