Monthly Archives: December 2017

Learn by doing … and reading

I appreciate the Mintzberg quote above for its implication that leadership is a practice. But, I also think we can learn by not only doing, but, well, by learning from others through reading and reflection. Our alumni book club seeks to engage discussions on leadership through books that examine and enlighten views on leadership and connections.

Their current selection, “Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead” by Sheryl Sandberg. Here’s a Forbes review of the book from 2013, if you’re interested in learning more:

At the current Aspiring Leaders cohort’s retreat, Marge shared a book recommendation: Bad Leadership by Barbara Kellerman. (Available in the Lane Library stacks.) The book explores a missing piece in many leadership books: the bad leader, seeks to define bad leadership and what we can learn from it. In each chapter, Kellerman evaluates a different trait of a “bad leader” and offers the reader a view of that trait through the lens of a leader in history.

Not sure you want to spend your free time reading about bad leaders? What about bee leaders? Bees have secret lives and lessons to teach us about leadership. “The Wisdom of Bees: What The Hive Can Teach Business About Leadership, Efficiency, And Growth” by Michael O’Malley is also available in the Lane Library. Here’s an article by O’Malley in Psychology Today on lessons we can learn from bees on decison-making:

Have you started a reading list for the break or books to tackle in 2018? Let us know what you’re reading or your recommendations by replying.

Weekly Update

Thanks to those of you who have provided feedback about the Aspiring Leaders program via the survey. It’s still up – and will be up through the end of 2017. Your feedback assists with continual improvement at the college and is appreciated.

Here are a few more comments that have come in:

Q: How would you describe Aspiring Leaders to an employee unfamiliar with the program?

Program which says it’s a leadership development sequence, but mostly a networking opportunity.


Q: If you could experience one seminar or day of Aspiring Leaders again, what would it be and why?

Quality time with the president reflecting and talking about BIG, possibly even sensitive, issues that individuals feel must be tackled/addressed in order for Lane CC to be all it can be. I think this lets aspiring leaders see the college’s leader as a human being with thoughts and feelings and worries like the rest of us, and allows us to get to the business of solution-finding… at least temporarily… on an equal plane.


Q: What would you like the Aspiring Leaders program planners to keep in mind when making decisions about potential changes to Aspiring Leaders programming?

Consider adding outcomes for the program to make it more cohesive; tie sessions to leadership; encourage personal goal setting and reflection throughout.

Weekly Challenge

This is a revisit of the first challenge: reflect on your core values. The holidays are a time of reflection for many. Take the time to reflect on your core values and revisit your own mission statement. Is your work and daily practice a reflection of those values and your personal mission?


What do you think?

Weekly Update

Thanks to those of you who have completed the survey about your Aspiring Leaders experience. Time is precious and as the end of term is in sight, a survey is another time drain. I invite you when you do have the opportunity: to reflect on your experience and provide some feedback. Continuous improvement is a goal for all our programs at Lane and your perspective will help us identify areas for improvement and potential new programming. As a reminder, you’re responses are anonymous – but if anyone would like to provide attribution to their feedback, let me know.

Here’s what some of you are saying:

Q: How would you describe Aspiring Leaders to an employee unfamiliar with the program?

Warren Bennis once stated, “leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” Aspiring Leaders trained employees to assist in translating LCC’s vision into reality.

AL was a fantastic opportunity for me to meet and network with other LCC employees. I learned so much about other areas of campus and the challenges that face LCC. On multiple occasions I was taken out of my comfort zone and feel grew because of it.

Q: Has your participation in Aspiring Leaders added value to your work at Lane? Explain how it has or how it has not.

Absolutely. I was a new employee and it immediately “shrank” the college down to a happy size. It gave me a crash course in the college culture—both what it was and what it could become. I created relationships with colleagues whom I continue to lean into for support.

It has not, it confused things because the direction given in Aspiring Leaders is not how things are run.

Q: What type of alumni efforts should the group consider?

Could we take on one project a year? Such as fundraising, an event to collect materials for the food pantry or clothing stash.

I wouldn’t put too much effort into this, though perhaps one event per year – like a coffee/tea. Maybe reach out to alumni to facilitate a discussion?

Q: Do you feel Aspiring Leaders is relevant to the mission and core values? Please explain your response. (All affirmative responses so far.)

Yes, because good leadership requires at least an openness to transformation, and building relationships is essential to helping an institution transform the lives of not only students, but staff and community as well.

Yes! Meeting and working with Lane colleagues from other departments across classified, faculty, and manager positions really demonstrated that equity lens and cultural diversity that the college is pushing towards. I saw issues from other perspectives that I had never experienced before in a safe and open place. Aspiring Leaders transformed my life through learning and all of our efforts were to improve ourselves and student success through better understanding. We touched on all of the core values at some point during the year.

Weekly Challenge

Kerry Levett, Brian Kelly and Jen Steele joined the Aspiring Leaders cohort for the December seminar. Brian and Jen received some good ideas from the small group exercise on ways to increase revenue and retention, such as differential tuition options and discounts for returning students. The group quickly ruled out a brew pub on campus.

Think you have a plan or idea that you know has worked elsewhere that could help generate new revenue or help with student enrollment and retention? Share it. Who knows what your brainstorm could spark?

Also, Kerry shared the somewhat new science of an organized life: bullet journaling. If you haven’t checked it out, you should. It takes writing things down to the next level with this key change: an index! You can use any notebook. Here’s a short video that explains it:


Give it a try. Let us know how it works out for you.