This week I am attending a management institue through educause. Leading up to the event we had a few assignments to complete – a strengths inventory and an interview with a leader. Both of those have already returned many good thought and actions which are already having a positive impact on my day to day (at home and work). I look forward to building on those through the sessions at the institute.
Coincidentally, I started reading a book about Harry and Bess Truman that I thought would be simply a series of cute stories about a retired president and his wife adjusting to regular life by taking a road trip. What it is turning out to be is a window into Harry Truman’s beliefs and world view. I never new much about Truman’s presidency beyond the references to him on MASH. I am impressed by is integrity, his genuine interactions with all, and his controlled yet fiery temper (Apparently, he wrote many letters to people who pissed him off but never sent them.) Much of the book was read on the plane as I travelled.
Ebooks are wonderful things but when travelling by plane you need to pack something to occupy you for 15 minutes as you climb and decend through the atmosphere. For this I brought the October issue of an Educause magazine. The issues focus was on using data to help address the struggles higher ed faces in the near term by making sound learning and business decisions, instead of going with the gut. While overwhelmed with how to get that done, I was energized by the idea and the connections that can be made through such a project which brings me back to the strength finder assignment.
According to this survey, my five strengths are arranger, maximizer, includer, ideation, and connectedness. These align well with my current responibilities and challenges. I also see them as beneficial in leading the push to use data in decision making. It will be interesting to see what other ideas surface in the coming week.