Yesterday another cohort of eager faculty began The Administrative Colloquium, a project-based faculty development course I direct. The first workshop involves a lot of introspective reflection. Participants learn about their Strengths (as defined by Gallup) and Meyers-Briggs types. Defining how you see the world and how it may differ from the frame others use often produces "a-ha" moments. There are other tools we could use, but these provide two frames for examining their own actions and those of others.
We also work on aspects of mission, vision, and values. Each participant must construct a personal mission and examine its alignment with their academic unit. This process led some past members of the Colloquium to change positions.
Change is always scary. Even when it represents a good choice, the best choice, you are stepping into the unknown. Will you see what you want when you press that button on the remote? Or will regular programming be pre-empted? You never know until you push the switch- and some choices are more difficult to reverse than changing to another channel.
I explored my own mission and motives these past two days. I made an easy change in August when I joined Scientopia. Now the stakes are bigger.
No matter what path I choose, my life will change soon. In a year my "baby" will leave for college. The nest will house only my husband and I (and Dottie, our energetic cat). Even though change may be expected, even welcomed, it stresses me. And it is the only constant in life.