From Kevin’s Desk: It’s Better to Give AND Receive (10/20/17)

Dear Colleagues:

Happy Friday!

I hope you have been able to get outside and enjoy this incredible fall weather. Taking time to breathe in the fresh air and walk around campus is a big part of maintaining balance and well-being for me. It’s one of the many joys of working in such a vibrant and beautiful university setting.

Speaking of balance, I had the wonderful opportunity to attend our Work-Life Resource Center’s annual conference last week. Congratulations to everyone involved in putting on such a meaningful and important conference! The keynote by Ross School of Business professor Wayne Baker really stuck with me. Professor Baker addressed the question: “Is it better to give than to receive?” I was raised – and I suspect many of you were, too – to believe that, yes, it is better to give than to receive. But Dr. Baker made the point that “giving” is of little or no value if no one is willing to “receive” – both are equally important! He also emphasized that because no one – like me! – knows everything and has all the answers, asking for help from others is critically important in the giving/receiving equation. It is ok to ask for help. Everyone needs it and I think all of us would be amazed by how many are willing to help us in our times of need. I’m going to work at getting better at asking for, receiving and giving help – and I hope you will, too!

Our bicentennial year is almost over, with the final celebrations planned for next Thursday and Friday. The Bicentennial Fall Festival promises to be fantastic! The festivities begin with the president’s third bicentennial colloquium, “Campus of the Future,” and end on Friday night with HAILstorm – a show of light and sounds celebrating U-M’s 200 years, which will be projected onto the façade of the Rackham Building. Be sure to check out the full schedule of events and activities on the bicentennial website. I hope to see you there!

It’s football Friday.  Tough game tomorrow for our Wolverines playing the #2 ranked team in the country. But I think we play well as the underdog and as we saw multiple times last weekend, no one is unbeatable. Go Blue!

Thanks for all you do to make working at this university so great.

With much appreciation and gratitude,

Kevin