Deaning is managing people, expectations, and priorities. And managing people includes managing yourself
Posted by Arjendu on October 5, 2011
I haven’t checked in for a while, mostly because I’ve been horrendously busy. The Carleton Dean of the College office downsized over the course of the Spring term, to be consistent with the pressures we are putting on the rest of our resources, from three deans to two deans. The true effects are just hitting us. The term started with a bang: We’ve launched a giant strategic planning process. We just opened out biggest building in years with a splash that’s still rippling. We just sent off a couple or three giant proposals. I’ve lost track of how many weekend days I’ve worked this term, as have so many others I know. I’m feeling it. So is everyone else. The term’s only accelerating, unfortunately.
Possibly because of how different this is from anything I used to do in my previous lives (a student or post-doc or professor) where I feel it most is in the arena of ‘management’. It’s a large part of the job as previous posts have probably made clear. A ‘meta’ insight that I am currently experiencing is what I’ve made the title of my post.
The term ‘managing people’ (and managing self) is less well-defined than others, and I’m still struggling with it. For now, let’s construe it as something to do with how you pay attention to demands on time and health. And feelings, too. Whatever it is, I have to remember that in being a designated middle-manager I need to recognize myself and everyone else as the objects of management, equally full of foibles, and equally in need of sympathetic and neutral encouragement.
I offer that as I check out for a much-needed sanity break overnight.