Walking boldly into fall…

Some of you are more prepared to “fall” into fall than to walk into it boldy.

New “school years” or new academic terms are (or soon will be) upon many of us. Many academics are currently spending significant time and energy lamenting the things that they did NOT accomplish in summer. An alternative is to celebrate WELL those things that were a success and then to pivot your time and energy to reflecting on what goals you have for fall.

Once your goals are clear, craft a specific plan of implementation on how you’ll draw on your strengthens and learn from prior stumbles in moving those forward.

Plan intentionally for walking into fall with your eyes firmly on the opportunities that lie ahead to advance your goals rather than looking in the “rear view mirror” at the ways in which summer may not have gone the way your planned or hoped.

I lead by example so I’m preparing to celebrate my successes during my final week of summer , and to go on a mini-retreat to reflect on my MAJOR plans for fall.

I’ve got this…and so do you!

As always, if you have thoughts on this or other posts, find me on Twitter at @BerondaM

Giving to others….and self

I do a lot of work with minoritized or underrepresented scholars in the academy. Many of the scholars are deeply committed to helping others, especially scholars from similar backgrounds and with fewer years experience in the academy.

As is the national trend for disproportionately higher engagement in service by minoritized faculty, many of the underrepresented scholars with whom I engage give selflessly and, often, beyond sustainable measures to support other marginalized scholars – especially students.

File:SakofaTime2.jpg
Image of Sankofa Bird which is based on an Ghanaian principle and frequently used to represent connecting the past with the present through intentional engagement and sense of responsibility to community.

In this giving, one of the targets often overlooked is self. It’s critical that scholars of the ‘giving to others’ persuasion also prioritize giving to SELF to ensure their own health and longevity. These individuals need to be intentional about scheduling self-care and maintaining an excellent routine of caring for self, in addition to caring for others.

Prioritizing self-care can be a challenge to marginalized scholars – who sometimes suffer from survivor’s guilt, imposter syndrome, unreasonably high & unforgiving (both often self-inflicted) expectations for success, or other counterproductive perspectives. Yet, the commitment to self-care has to be held as non-negotiable to promote long-term presence in, contribution to, and (sometimes) challenging of academic environments.

So I encourage each of you that have set a HIGH bar for task-related goals, such as writing and scholarship, for the summer to also set some summer self-care goals. For good measure, also set up a system of accountability to ensure that you give attaining your self-care goals your very best effort.

You DESERVE it, you NEED it….also the communities and individuals to whom you seek to give need your BEST effort and “cared for” self in the giving process. Giving to self frequently, well, and consistently is one way to ensure that you have access to your BEST self when you prepare to give to others.

As always, if you have thoughts on this or other posts, find me on Twitter discussing #mentoring, leading, and sometimes #selfcare at @BerondaM

Leading change through sharing personal leadership journeys

Last year when I was invited to submit a chapter to a book on women leading in the academy, I initially thought it was interesting to consider because of the need for progressive material in this area.

Additionally it was an interesting invitation, as I had been asked to co-write a chapter with my Michigan State University colleague Kendra Cheruvelil. Kendra and I knew each other casually at the time of the invitation, but were growing in our understanding and appreciation of each other enough to consider what a jointly authored book chapter on professional development could be.

Next spring our chapter “Professional Development of Women Leaders” will be a part of a new book from Cognella Academic Publishing co-edited by Callie Rennison of University of Colorado Denver and Amy Bonomi of Michigan State University.

Kendra and I both learned a lot about ourselves and each other in our personal and collaborative reflection during the process of working on this chapter.

I’m personally eager to learn from and about all of the other women leaders who have contributed to this text. I have no doubt it will offer much needed insight and “food for thought”!

Women Leading Change in Academia: Breaking the Glass Ceiling, Cliff, and Slipper co-edited by Callie Rennison and Amy Bonomi coming in Spring 2020 from Cognella Academic Publishing.
Table of contents for “Women Leading Change in Academia”