It is Sunday, and we are reaching for our UCO sweatshirts this morning. The young maple tree in our yard has begun its transition toward winter as its leaves move from green to shades of light red and burnt orange. Given the wide variety of plantings across the campus, we will see the full spectrum of autumnal colors at UCO in the coming weeks.
Here in the USA, this past week saw the country move away from political deadlines and financial cliffs as last minute, temporary compromises in Congress produced legislation that re-opened the federal government and authorized the country to raise its debt limit and thereby meet its immediate financial obligations.
But anyone seeking lasting relief from the contentious issues that have divided the nation must wait for another day. The current “fix” has been characterized as “kicking the can down the road”. There was no resolution of the outstanding issues because there is no consensus on priorities or direction. It should be noted that the impasse and the continuing absence of basic consensus is being perceived outside the USA in less than favorable ways. Given the interconnected nature of our planet, there are few issues and decisions that do not have multiple global consequences. We are inextricably interconnected in countless ways to the world physically beyond our borders.
Martha Burger is a highly respected UCO alum who shared her experience and insights with us. She focused on key leadership concepts, developed them with cogent examples and left us with a “quotable quotation” to exemplify each precept. I believe that Martha exemplifies the very characteristics she highlighted. Authenticity, vision, strategy, communication, legacy and other leadership ideals were among her litany of preferred traits. Martha was adept at linking concept with application. She also offered pragmatic advice relevant to securing and keeping a professional position.
I found her four-part response to preparing for success highly useful. She advised to volunteer, over-deliver, present solutions and pay it forward. In the end, how you demonstrate what you know, how you learn, how you collaborate and that you are trustworthy clearly positions you for optimal possibilities.
Never underestimate the power of persistence linked to talent, initiative, passion and a sense of purpose. As you know, we often link the discussion on growing leaders to public service and civic engagement. These are community and society-building initiatives that can change lives and transform states.
For your community, for the state, the country and beyond, you become a vital actor in the growth and change of society. Human talent is our true sustainable asset which will guide us in successfully addressing the unending list of opportunities and challenges that will define our current and future circumstance. This is one of the reasons why we at UCO place a focused emphasis on the intentional encouragement and development of leaders. To care for this place, be it local or global, your neighborhood or the planet, authentic, visionary caring leaders are needed. To encourage you in your development is why we gather together in PLC, LOT and Lessons in Leadership.
Make a small difference in a big way this week.