From Kevin’s Desk: The gift of your full attention . . . (07/28/17)

Dear Colleagues:

Happy Friday!

This week I joined President Schlissel and my colleagues on the university’s executive leadership team for a two-day retreat. As a group, we fall into the category of “busy people” with big scopes of work to manage. Yet, we were asked to put away our phones, iPads and computers during the retreat to focus on our work together. It was wonderful! In this day and age of constant access, we often forget (me included!) to set aside dedicated time to do focused work and to fully engage with others, without the constant distractions of email, texts, phone calls and social media. I encourage you to try it!

At the retreat, we talked a lot about what it means to create a positive culture here at the university. Many of us are having similar discussions in B&F. How do we build great teams, how do we encourage each other to take thoughtful risks and how do we build trust? I appreciate that many of you have already shared ideas with me and your unit leadership about how to create a more positive, inclusive and effective culture in B&F. Let’s continue the conversation as we prepare to roll out a new version of our B&F strategic plan this fall.

As I mentioned last week, I will be on vacation for the next two weeks. And in the spirit of giving my full attention to others, I will be turning off email and focusing 100 percent on my family. I will send my next Friday message when I return, the week of August 14. I encourage you to think about doing the same as you have the opportunity to get away. My colleagues in leadership know how to reach me should it be necessary.

Thanks for all you do to make this university great!

With much appreciation and gratitude,