What are you paying attention to?
It’s the beginning of a new academic year. You are working very hard and keeping a close eye on enrollment, budgets, and other crucial metrics for colleges and universities. You know what numbers you want to see to feel successful. But…
Have you asked yourself lately what is your own definition of success?
As a servant leader, you know your job isn’t about you. You are here to meet other people’s needs and seldom think of yours. You know what success for your institution looks like, but what about you?
Status, income, and career progression can lead you to believe you are doing great, even when you are not. I invite you to start thinking about what matters more.
Your quality of life depends on the quality of emotions you experience every day.
If your predominant emotions are feeling rushed, stressed, frustrated, or even angry at times, I urge you to stop accepting it. It doesn’t have to be that way.
How much is too much?
This subject is on my mind because many of my clients work with me to improve how they respond to unwanted events and to feel more at peace and in control of their inner world. They want to be more empowered in how they handle delicate situations in higher ed admin.
The emotions we feel are determined by what interpretation we create in our minds. We have the power to change how we experience our circumstances – to a certain point.
I had a session with one of my favorite clients this week, and while I was incredibly proud that he handles challenges masterfully now, I couldn’t ignore the fact that the amount of drama he faces daily is plain ridiculous.
Yes, I can show anyone how to improve how they feel in any given situation but how much effort is too much? It is empowering to become a better version of yourself but at what point do you give yourself permission to leave?
The contrast from one organizational culture to another is staggering. If you are dealing with a toxic workplace, consider taking your talent, dedication, and loyalty elsewhere.
I promise you; better is available!
You may be so used to how things are on your campus that you lose sight of how happier you could be elsewhere and how you would be a much better leader if you were in the right environment.
Lately, I have been interviewing inspirational leaders in higher ed for my “Leaders’ Insights Series” (click here if you’d like to receive upcoming articles). A couple of times, I found myself thinking “I’d love to work for you!” And that’s really funny because coaching is my passion and purpose, so have no desire to get back into admin or any other type of job.
But these men and women were exceptional and a part of me would have wanted to learn more from them and to be of service to them. I admired their integrity, strength, transparency, authenticity, values, and mission.
That’s the kind of feelings you want to have for your supervisor and the rest of the leadership team. You want to feel privileged to be part of something you believe in, and surrounded by people you respect and hopefully admire too.
So, don’t settle for days filled with stress and frustration. You deserve more. Let this article be your wake up call.
Here is what to do next
1. Throughout the day, pause and observe how you are feeling. Keep track of these emotions on a piece of paper.
2. If you don’t like what you see on your list, commit to change.
3. Feed your mind empowering thoughts and techniques. Choose books, TED Talks, articles, podcasts, or anything else you like that will support you.
4. Stop giving away your personal power. Take full responsibility for what is happening in your life and career. Consider working with a coach to make this shift easier and quicker.
5. If it becomes clear that your institution is not a good fit for you, get your job search started.
I am sure many of you will think “My situation isn’t so bad. It’s normal to be busy and stressed in the position I have.” So here are the metrics for you to start taking into consideration:
How does your body feel? Do you feel tension, neck/shoulder pain, headaches, or chronic fatigue? Have you been gaining weight? Was your latest blood work as good as you want it to be?
How fulfilled are you by your work? How well does it meet your needs?
How often do you feel serene and completely at peace with life?
When was the last time you felt passionate and exhilarated?
How present and mindful are you when you spend time with your loved ones?
When you observe your own behavior, do you like what you see or do you feel regret or even shame?
You may have heard me say many times “your job isn’t about you” but your life is about you! Being a servant leader doesn’t mean being a martyr. Go be a servant leader where you will have a fulfilling career because when you feel better, you have more to give to your campus.
If you would like to speak with me to find out how I can help you transform how you experience your current job and/or find a more suitable one, click here to make an appointment for a complimentary call.
About the author: Dr. Audrey Reille has empowered thousands of professionals through one-on-one coaching, group coaching, speaking engagements, online courses, and interviews on international telesummits. Audrey is the go-to coach for leaders in higher education administration. She empowers them to thrive by reducing stress, optimizing strategies, improving professional relationships, and developing a strong and empowered mindset. For more information and free resources visit ThrivingInAdmin.com