Last week, I met with my colleagues from 40+ independent school associations. We focused on the big challenges facing our schools – governance, student safety, insurance, globalism, and diversity to name a few – as well as challenges facing our associations – duplication of services, disruption, and strategies to enhance member value. Other than one session when we were inspired by Jason Dorland (who spoke at our NLC last year) it was pretty heavy stuff.
But the learning was powerful, and it got me thinking about a few of our recent CAIS projects – we are:
- Launching our new Governance Guide and a series of strategies to support good governance in our schools
- Engaging the Business Professionals in our annual Benchmarking that is now online; we are also considering a Captive Insurance program
- Preparing a Culture of Philanthropy Webinar series
- Developing a CAIS Orientation package to provide new leaders who join one of our CAIS schools with an overview of our mission, applicable resources, and how to connect with their national network
- Continuing the 2051 Project conversations to ensure our schools are moving beyond talking about innovation (there’s no shortage of good ideas!) so they are actually engaging in the messiness of change.
- Enhancing our CAIS accreditation so we have an even more efficient and meaningful process for whole school improvement
- Touring international agents in our boarding schools as part of this year’s CAIS Fam Tour.
This weekend, when I took some time to stop and think about what motivates me, I realized that I am motivated by four things:
- School improvement work – I find it compelling to think deeply about what we can do better together as a group of independent schools.
- My team – I am really motivated by my team and their unrelenting focus on strategies that can support our passionate school leaders. I have to work hard to keep up with them, and I love that feeling!
- My colleagues – When I stop and reflect, I realized I am motivated by my time with colleagues. Last week in San Diego, when I was not in meetings and presentations, I had some time to connect with other association leaders. I was reminded of the value of time to connect with people who walk your walk. It is important to me to have time to talk through challenges and opportunities in non-structured ways. I appreciate my ISAnet colleagues who woke up early to run and bike.
- Taking time to reflect – When life gets busy, as it inevitably does in our world, especially in September, I find it helpful to remind myself of what makes me tick. I need to make time to reflect on how I spend my time. That’s good motivation for me.