A Hint of Spring

March 19, 2021

The snowpile in my driveway that was over my head is now less than a foot high. We survived the changing of the clocks for daylight savings earlier this week, and this weekend marks the beginning of spring and Big Bird’s Birthday. I know all of you are as anxious as I am to put winter behind us. Many of you are heading off to spring break in the next few weeks, some of you have received your vaccine, and with the warmer, sunnier weather comes optimism and renewal.

Like you, the CFO’s surveyed In Deloitte’s CFO Signals for Q1 2021 are expressing improving metrics and overall optimism:

  • More than one-third say their companies are already at pre-crisis operating levels
  • CFOs reveal a brighter outlook toward North America’s economy, with 29% indicating it is good now and 73% believing it will be better in a year
  • Nearly three-quarters of CFOs expect travel expenses post-pandemic to fall between 50% to 80% of pre-pandemic levels.

However, the CFO’s surveyed had concerns about talent, inflation, and the potential for increased taxes and regulation.

We have all heard the predictions that there will be an inordinate amount of churn within the faculty ranks and in senior leadership for the next few years. When thinking about the talent pool for your future hires or even your own career path, success will depend on different factors post-COVID. Influencing The Future: The Most Critical Skill For Career Success In 2021 & How To Build It outlines some attributes you may want to look for in new hires or to improve your professional practice:

  • Imagine a future that doesn’t exist 
    • What do you want the future to look like?
    • What would you do for the institution if money, resources and approval weren’t an issue?
    • What should you and your function ultimately be doing to make the greatest and most positive impact for your constituent base?
  • Develop an empowered mindset
  • Be willing to challenge the status quo
    • Through the right channels, be vocal.
    • Ensure regular and frequent touch points with team members, so you can understand people’s frustrations, listen to their ideas, and understand what they hope to accomplish.
    • See feedback and push back as important information vs. rejection.
  • Ability to work through conflict
    • Set up regular trust building conversations.
    • Invite feedback and share yours. 
    • Lead with an assumption of good intent.
  • Prioritize impact over ego

For the past year, you have been prioritizing impact over ego, and taking good care of your communities. In the next few weeks, we hope you take some time for yourself and recharge your batteries so you return from spring break energized and ready to meet the challenges of the rest of this academic year.  

Take Advantage of the Power of the Flock...

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