I thought long and hard about going back to school and researched different programs for months. I finally decided on the Executive Leadership and Organization Change (ELOC) program through Northern Kentucky University. Appealing aspects for this program included the fact that it meets one weekend a month (with my travel schedule that is ideal), it has a global leadership aspect (most people who know me know that I have an interest in working internationally), and all the classes have some correlation with what I do on my job every day (which means I can take back information to share with my members).
After a very rough start to my first semester in the fall of 2013, here are the Top 5 Things I Learned about myself and going back to school:
1. There is much more time involved that I thought. Oh – I knew there would be a lot of reading & writing. What I wasn’t prepared for were the weekly team meetings and the overwhelming amounts of reading & writing & projects.
2. I am NOT an academic writer by any means. I’ve never considered myself to be a writer period, but I learned very quickly that business writing and academic writing are on different planets.
3. As much as I try to say I’m an introvert, I’m not. My Myers-Briggs assessment is clearly an E (extrovert). However, I still maintain I’m an introverted-extrovert because I need my ‘away from people’ downtime in order to recharge.
4. Several of the books we read and discussions that took place validated for me that conversations I’ve had with my members and things I’ve encouraged you guys to be doing were the right direction to be going in. (Watch for individual posts on these!)
5. An a-ha moment was during a discussion on whether we were humanistic (relationship-based); pragmatic (practical-based) or intellectual (information-based). I, of course, am humanistic – valuing my relationships with my friends and my members. I realized that KCCE is a humanistic organization as well and I feel that is why we have the success that we do. We value our relationships with one another, helping each other out, making sure our conferences provide the right speakers & content for our needs. We obviously must rely on pragmatic & intellectual in order to have a completely successful organization, but the humanistic portion takes precedence.
I hope to post on a more regular basis as I move through my grad school experience, sharing tidbits of information with you. However, if you don’t hear from me just know that I’m probably meeting with my team, reading or writing a paper.