In a post before Christmas, I wrote about the value that I (Grant McMillan) get from memberships which I hope encouraged you to sign up and learn from your peers. However, as part of a New Year’s resolution, let me encourage you to not renew your membership, but to contribute.
Why? Well, partly because I’m selfish and want what’s in your brain.
But really, this is not about me. I believe you will learn and grow in your role much faster if you contribute. I know that when I teach I learn at least as much as my students in my Management courses. (I mean, really, did you know that Frederick Taylor was hauled in for a series of Congressional hearings over his Scientific Management theory, that he lied through his teeth, and got away with it?! Me thinks some baseball stars could learn a thing or two from him.)
What I’m talking about is social media on steroids. It’s not just about being social; I’m asking you to make a regular, significant contribution. Yikes! Does that scare you?
It sure scared me. Back when the world was young and I was green, I got roped into the Executive of the Western Association of Registrars (WARUCC) by a wiley ol’ Registrar. Dr. Ken Smith of the University of Saskatchewan talked to me about being the voice of smaller schools and representing Saskatchewan as a Member-at-Large on WARUCC. He explained the job, said I’d be perfect for it, and offered his help. Now, I looked up to Ken as probably the best Registrar ever, so when he recommended me I was dumb-struck. I think I nodded my head or made some movement that he interpreted as acquiescence and put my name forward. The very next day he called me up and said, “Grant, there’s a bit of a problem. Apparently we already have a MAL, but we really need a VP. You just have to keep the membership roles in order, but mostly the Secretary-Treasurer does that when he sends out the membership invoices, so it’s easy. Can I put your name in for that?.” I think I heard him say “easy” a few times – I don’t know for sure – but I also don’t think anyone ever said “no” to Ken Smith. Long story short, I found myself on the Executive of WARUCC as Vice President with a grand total of two years under my belt in the Registrar’s Office.
Holy learning curve, Batman!
It was the best thing that could have happened. I learned a TON through that experience. I found myself sitting next to some of the wisest, most experienced people in universities and colleges. I couldn’t have paid money to get that kind of learning! And they expected a lot of me too, which kept me up late at night more than a few times. But it was worthwhile. I owe a lot to Ken Smith for pushing me this way.
After all, I might not have met you!
How can YOU contribute this year? Could you write an article for the WARUCC Newsletter? Could you write a guest blog post for this blog? What about going to a conference and sharing the learning with your team when you get back? Or to really stretch yourself, what about actually answering a question on the List-Serve you’re on? So what if someone disagrees with you or that you only know half of the question – none of us knows everything. Step out there and contribute! You’ll find out for yourself that it’s worth it.
Oh, and if you are willing to write a guest post for this blog, send a quick email to me: firstname.lastname@example.org