A Chance Encounter

A chance encounter this morning reminded me just how far I have come.

Last year I followed a regional leadership programme for aspiring senior managers in the Further Education sector. The group of around 12 individuals from a variety of learning providers met five times for sessions facilitated by a number of leadership experts.

This morning our College happened to be hosting an event for the current programme, and this gave me the chance to say hello to the inspirational @larryshulman, whom for me was the most significant speaker I worked with over the duration of the course. Liz, the course co-ordinator also happened to be around, and the three of us had a chance to catch up.

Liz asked me ‘so, how have things moved on for you since the group last met?’

I paused briefly, I think because the question forced me to take stock and take a moment to consider the position I have reached now in comparison to a year ago. I rushed my answer – not having time to give it the detailed consideration I may do otherwise, nor thinking about much more than ongoing organisational changes that are currently taking place.

Without hesitation I was able to explain how my role has changed, and continues to evolve, being heavily influenced by the changes demanded by our organisation and an ever changing educational landscape. But my answer wasn’t deep, nor did it give much indication of how I had personally changed (beyond different responsibilities).

Back at my desk, and I realise that I haven’t really taken much time to reflect over the past three months – more or less the same period during which I haven’t been writing any new posts here in this blog. I have previously been more focused and purposeful about making time for reflection. The result of investing time in reflection was clarity in my purpose, and in my objectives.

And this, I think, is contributing to a general feeling of uncertainty during a time when I have many opportunities to transform the areas of operation I am responsible for in my role. My role has changed considerably, and continues to do so. In order to successfully embrace new responsibility, I must again make time to come to terms with the new considerations and approaches I must take to fresh challenge. Perhaps the reflection process should start with a fresh and reinvigorated approach to writing here in these pages. Maybe the rush to achieve so much should be slowed a little in order for my inner self to catch up.

So, thanks Larry and Liz, for helping me realise what has been missing.

The Wessex Group of Colleges collaborate to provide wider opportunities for learning and development among staff in Further Education organisations throughout Hampshire, and provide varied opportunities for sharing of good educational practice among peer organisations and individuals.

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