Instilling Hope for Deep Change

I have been asked to co-lead the strategic planning for the university. This is both exciting and daunting. In trying to get clarity about the assignment, I had my first one-on-one conversation with Temple’s Chairman of the Board, Mitch Morgan. I came away from the conversation filled with hope. I have been playing back the conversation in my mind trying to understand what he did that left me with such positive feelings.

The first thing he did was introduce himself. He described his journey sharing personal details that clearly communicated his values and management philosophy. He talked about how much of his success was being a great people-picker.

Next, he invited me to share my personal journey and deeply listened to my answer asking questions in a caring way that made me feel comfortable.

He emphasized how great he thought Temple was and also why we needed to change. He articulated the urgency for a clear strategy for the university because of the increasingly competitive educational landscape that has been accelerated by the Covid pandemic.  

He honored every person he talked about. His first sentence about every person was that he loved them and I believed that he did. 

He indicated what he was not good at and what he needed help doing.

He clearly articulated the type of leadership he needed to make the change he was seeking at the university. Then he asked me if I would be willing to help and told me why he picked me for the assignment.  

After I said yes, we talked candidly about the challenges and the ways that he would support me as I did the assignment.

In a nutshell, he demonstrated the positive leadership traits that I have been trying to develop for many years and validated my decision to come to Temple. 

My challenge for you this week is to examine how you are interacting with others, especially when you are trying to activate deep change.