I'm in a rush this morning trying to prepare to board my flight to Qatar this afternoon. I'll be in Doha at 7 p.m. Monday night and at my new desk on Tuesday morning, ready for a new venture that will shape my life and career in ways that I never expected. Being in a rush, I'll post a couple of thoughts and then may return to them; I think it's important to reflect at least for a moment before I depart the U.S.A.
First of all, I am so thankful for the many Miami friends who have helped me so much in my transition. The last three months have flown by but things have fallen together rather nicely. Thanks to all my colleagues who are stepping up as I depart and thank you to students for always being willing to engage your learning and leadership to the fullest.
I am also thankful for the inspiration of colleagues throughout the U.S.A. and now beyond. I returned from the International Leadership Association conference in Vancouver on Saturday after having talked with colleagues like Susan Komives, Ron Heifetz, Sharon Daloz Parks, and many others. It was overwhelming to feel the good will and the affirmation for my new work in Qatar. I wouldn't have a prayer of doing what I need to do without great colleagues distributed around the world. And the friends of friends thing is unbelievable - there are so many connections I've already made in Qatar and the Arabian Gulf as a result of referrals.
As I think of what is ahead, I think of the importance of investing all of myself in every way possible. A colleague at Miami, Michael Kumler, works in cultivation and fund-raising for the Student Affairs division at Miami. He talks about investing time, talent, and treasure in things that make a difference. Different ones of us have more or less of time, talent, or treasure but the point is that we give as much of each as we can. This is a lesson that I've begun to explicitly incorporate into the way I work and engage with others. I think I've done this implicitly but knowing of the idea in more concrete ways draws more attention to it. Because of my career choice, I've had more time and talent to invest. I've realized that one of the things that gratifies me most and has the greatest impact is investing time and attention in developing others' talent. And a realization of this is that I love investing in others because I recognize the unrealized gifts that so many have. When I engage, I know that I'm working with students and colleagues who are likely to have greater gifts and more potential than I do. This makes my investment particularly critical because there is so much need to be addressed in our world. I have been blessed to have many in whom the investment of attention has paid off in such amazing ways. I know this will be the case in Qatar and I appreciate having had the experiences at Miami that have helped me sharpen my commitment to talent development.
For anyone who reads my blog, you're probably one of those who I perceive to have great gifts and potential, if not realized at this point, it is unfolding. I thank you for engaging with me and taking yourself seriously enough to know how important your contributions are to the world around you.