Here we are preparing to welcome thousands of Roadrunners to campus. For some, this is a new, exciting experience, but for those returning for another year it still holds excitement.
Let me begin by sharing my thoughts about Gage Paine, our former vice president. I don’t know about you, but it has taken me some time to come to terms with her departure. It has been a grieving process of sorts, because there are mixed feelings, such as disappointment for our loss, but joy for her and her next career move. I’m sure some of you can identify with that.
When I heard about her interviewing at Austin, it was like a blip on the radar screen. She eventually accepted the job and it became a full-scale red alert, a major disruption.
My dominant color in the True Colors spectrum is Green, so my reaction to this was to understand this logically first before I responded emotionally. But, everyone is unique and will come to terms with her departure in their own way, and that’s fine.
Gage was a great leader and we wish her continued success, but I want to acknowledge she had a great team supporting her. YOU are a part of that great team. At some point, someone poured over many resumes and conducted lots of interviews just to say YOU are the one we want for our team.
So, we still have all the great people, resources, and the creativity we need to meet the challenges that we will have before us.
I have no doubt in my mind and I am fully confident that we will step up and rise to the occasion during this transition.
I also want to take a moment to briefly share my management philosophy.
I have always been a strong proponent of the management 'coaching' philosophy and I have tried to emulate it on a consistent basis. This coaching philosophy is tried and true and has widespread acceptance in the corporate world. Three ideas stand out to me.
First is the idea that a leader plays many roles: mentor, teacher, guide, and motivator – all for the purpose of developing people, because people are the most important resource in an organization.
Second is the idea that “I’m the boss of you” is not the right attitude. I am always open to suggestions from others. My attitude is that we are working together for the success of the division.
Third is the idea that ‘Failure’ should be a learning experience. Personally, I have more respect for a person who admits their mistakes and learns from them than someone who hides failures and does not accept responsibility.
I hope this has given you more insight into my style and expectations and will strengthen our relationships as we work together.
Good luck as we prepare to welcome our thousands of Roadrunners who are about to descend upon campus.