American Authors are enjoying the rage of this current song.  Go Big or Go Home is a worthy entry in the Urban Dictionary and epitomizes for me the spark and enthusiasm I witnessed last week.  For the fourth summer, I was graced to serve with a number of fabulous faculty as we delivered a Business Management Institute, sponsored by the Western Association of College and University Business Officers.  The UC-Santa Barbara campus is always a beautiful backdrop to a great week of learning.  I think, this was one of the best sessions.   

The students, aspiring leaders across the business functions of Higher Education, gather for a week of professional developments. There are the usual suspects on the agenda including:  Accounting, Budgeting and Risk, but there are also many sessions focusing on the important softer side of this business equation. These titles  included: Executive Presence, How to Re-Invent Yourself, Navigating Organizational Politics, Creating Team Motivation, The Necessity of Change, Communication, Skillful Meetings, The Importance of Mentors, Champions and Sponsors and Strategies for Career Management. These new professionals gravitated to the sessions promoting personal and professional development. (Music to my ears, since Finance is not my forte!  But, we all have our skills, gifts and talents). There were no spreadsheets nor equations in my sessions. 

Listening to many of these young professionals over the week, a common theme was heard. They have new ideas, they see endless opportunities for innovation in Higher Ed and they are ready to GO BIG. They were seeking advice and counsel as to how to present their GO BIG ideas to move forward the enterprise. Trust is shaky in some environments, and they were challenged that they need to both establish trust and receive trust for optimal results.  Some admitted that they have stumbled and sought advice on how to present a fresh canvas and ideas for painting the vision for future successes. One confided, our campus can be a case study of what not to do.  Now, I hope I can remember to avoid these sins when I return…

These are the new professionals entering our offices and this world of work. This generation gravitates toward trusted advisors as their backgrounds have often shaken this foundation. This group is all about balance and measuring results and successes, not time in a chair. We can learn so much from them and their perspective, we too must be open to change and the next chapter. They continue to teach me and instill energy each and every summer in sunny California.

I wish these bright professionals a great week as they re-enter their workplaces. I hope the re-invent ideas stuck and that they are already implementing some of these tactics and strategies. They were tapped by their leadership to attend these sessions. They are noted as high potentials on their campuses. They are ready to GO BIG, now I hope that their campus leadership can embrace the changes that they will be suggesting. I do not want this group to GO HOME!





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