Blog – Blogging
Trust the process By Carlee Smith | July 29, 2013
“Trust the process”
One of my life mottos these days is “trust the process.” It’s gained this esteemed status – even earning a spot as my phone’s background for a while – because, well, I’m no good at it. I tend to be a jump-to-the-end kind of person. I want to know the outcome now and I want to have gotten there yesterday. The icky, frustrating, blurry unknown of a middle drives me crazy.
Yet, the process is important. It’s where collaboration happens. It’s where clarity happens. It’s where learning happens.
My life motto came and smacked me in the face last week as I was working to wrap up my summer internship project of illustrating Floricane’s leadership philosophy and model. I’ve spent the past few weeks chewing it over with John and team. Model #1 turned into model #2. Model #2 was long outdone by model #3, #4 and #5. As I brought the latest model to the team, the sharpies and blank paper came out to iterate yet another model. Even as we sat down with the graphic designer to turn the models over to him, we ended up scrapping model #6 and going back to model #4.
I reminded myself to trust the process.
Do I wish we could have easily illustrated the model three weeks ago? Sure, but there’s a lot to leadership, and it’s hard to simplify a philosophy into a clear and concise visual. It would have been nice, but we wouldn’t have learned what’s really central to Floricane. I wouldn’t have been challenged to really thread out those core principles. Instead, there was a whole lot of learning, clarity, and collaboration. We may not quite be at the end, even now, but we’re close and the product is better for it.
To add a little more humor to the situation, as I looked down at my notebook, I saw the yellow post-it note with a reminder for my presentation glaring back up at me. Sure enough, there it was: “the process is the product.”
I’m so wise.
5 Lessons in 50 Days By Caroline Moyer | July 23, 2013
The day has finally arrived: This is my first blog post since I started with Floricane last November. If your only interaction with Floricane is through our blog posts: Hi, I’m Caroline. It’s really nice to meet you.
Today I’m celebrating my fiftieth day-iversary of becoming Floricane’s first full-time employee. Here’s how I felt last month when I was offered my very first full-time job:
Over the past month and a half I’ve learned a handful of pretty important lessons. Let’s cut the small talk and dive right in to my top 5*:
Job titles are sometimes confusing.
I often forget my new job title. When I went from Project Coordinator/Administrative Assistant to Project Coordinator Plus/Client Experience Manager last month, I had way more important things to think about than how to describe my job to others (i.e. how to write 3 reports in a week, how to purchase enough ice cream for 200+ people, and how to make our Summer of Self-Discovery sessions feel comfortable and fun). Sometimes I just tell people, “I work at a consulting firm and do everything the consultants don’t do.”
Giant to-do lists are essential.
If at one point I ever thought I could do my job without a 2’x3’ to-do list taped to the wall next to my desk, I thought wrong.
40 hours/week is a LOT more than 20:
Some projects are more fun with friends!
I was the kid who dreaded group projects and partner-work in school*, but working at Floricane has taught me to step out of my isolationist mindset and collaborate more. Of all my projects over the last month, I think I might be most proud of the video that Carlee and I made together about the Summer of Self-Discovery series.
Floricane has the best clients.
Okay, so I’ve known this since last winter, but I decided to include it anyway. Though I technically work in an office—some might even say “RVA’s best office”—I love that I’m able to travel all around Richmond and interact with so many amazing people and organizations. As Carlee wrote in her last blog post, there’s nothing better than hearing people talk about their passions. I feel so lucky that my job allows me to do just that almost every day.
(Sorry, I had to add a bonus lesson) People in the Richmond Times-Dispatch love free food…
…and I started the twitter account RTDDonutWatch to prove it.
*Can you guess my Insights colors?
The Rookie By Carlee Smith | July 22, 2013
This summer I made a rookie mistake.
I told my friend who, along with his wife, is letting me graciously live with them this summer, that I had never seen X-Men. He was shocked and dismayed to learn the full extent of the super hero movies that I had never seen. What followed was an extensive movie education – X-Men, Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, the Avengers, etc.
This week I made another rookie mistake.
When told that Wednesday is “comic book release day” by Sam, who works with us in 1E, I shared my cinematic deep dive experience with him. What followed was a 20-minute diatribe about all the reasons why the X-Men movies were wrong.
Like I said, rookie mistakes.
Although my passions do not lie in comic books – or should I say “graphic novels” as I am being corrected by enthusiasts – nor super heroes, there are fewer things I enjoy more than having these moments when you discover someone else’s passion.
Have you ever had that moment when you’re talking to someone and you hit that sweet spot of conversation? A moment when that person lights up and could talk for days about that particular topic of conversation? These have been some of my favorite moments this summer.
I’ve had many conversations this summer centered on leadership and Floricane. These conversations have been filled with these moments where people have lit up as they’ve told me about their organizations or personal leadership philosophies.
I’ve talked with Karen Legato at the Fan Free Clinic and been inspired by how she leads her team and the organization. I’ve met with Amy Howard at the University of Richmond’s Bonner Center for Civic engagement and been absorbed as I heard her vision for engagement amongst students and nonprofit organizations across the city. I’ve met people over and over again who are living their passions.
As I continue to immerse myself in the world of leadership, I can’t help but think of how passion and leadership are intertwined. Leadership can be about leading with your passion, but leadership can also be about taking the time to discover and unfold the passion of those around you. …even when that passion is X-Men.
Letter of the Law By John Sarvay | July 22, 2013
One of the first things we noticed about the University of Richmond Law Library staff was how relaxed and collegial they were! It’s not that we don’t encounter relaxed and congenial people in our line of work, but it’s sometimes unusual to see a group of 20 people smiling at eight o’clock in the morning! What really struck us about our day, however, is just how much the economics of the past several years has impacted everything – including if people even attend law school, and what their employment prospects are upon completion. When you combine positive energy and change, you get great results. In addition to some solid strategic ideas of how the law library team should be thinking differently about its future, the group managed to surface some truly revolutionary ideas. Taking the time to bring a team together to dream is often a useful and meaningful investment. When your team is ready to dream, the investment always has a better return.
Defining leadership By Carlee Smith | July 16, 2013
“What is leadership?”
Of all the questions I’ve been asking this summer (and mind you, there are many), this may be my favorite. Is it because people give me such meaningful definitions? Yes, but that’s not why I love the question. I love the question because of the look I get immediately after I ask it. Sometimes it’s the look of “how dare you ask me such a thing.” Sometimes it’s the look of “how in the world am I going to answer this?” Mostly it’s the look I get because for as much of a buzzword as “leadership” is these days, we really struggle to define what it means to us.
Generally, after a few moments of staring off into space, people offer pretty profound, insightful, and very interesting ideas of what leadership is.
I’ve clearly been living in the land of leadership these days at Floricane as I work on my summer internship project to help illustrate the Floricane leadership philosophy and model. I’ve had many conversations asking about leadership with former clients, partners, and friends to help clearly define what exactly leadership means to Floricane.
Lucky for me, Floricane’s Summer of Self-Discovery series is also revolving on leadership this year. In hopes of getting a few answers – and maybe even letting John, Debra and Theron just tell me what leadership is – I was very eager to join the mix at the first session this past week, which did not disappoint.
A room full of people joined in a conversation that revolved around the principles of “The Leadership Challenge.” My group sunk our teeth into the principle of setting the example: how and when should a leader model behavior. When is it better to stop talking and start walking the walk? As one person shared, sometimes being the first to arrive and the last to leave can send a more powerful message than any talk one can give about commitment.
We also heard from other groups on their take on the other principles of great leadership, such as fostering collaboration, taking risks, and envisioning the future. Each group came with unique experiences and perspectives that enriched the principles that Kouzes and Posner offered in their book.
I left the workshop one step closer in my journey to uncover Floricane’s leadership model. As I wrap up my conversations and experience the remaining Summer of Self-Discovery workshops, I’m excited to discover the answer to the question, “What is leadership?”
- The Last Blog Post
- Building a framework
- Tracking progress
- Breathing into art(180)
- Letters of the Law (UR Law Library)
- Trust the process
- 5 Lessons in 50 Days
- The Rookie
- Letter of the Law
- Defining leadership
- Don’t Stand In Line
- Bird on a wire
- What Price Happiness? (Priceless)
- The Power of Choice
- Getting Hijacked