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Pleasant surprises

Two big events are going on:

So the last couple of days have been tiring, in a good way. Several months ago, I applied to AALL's Leadership Academy. Given that the profession is currently predominated by baby boomers, they are very interested in creating the next batch of leaders. They had 90-plus applicants for 30 slots.

And they took me.

You could read into that what you want. I prefer to think the profession is doomed. (Yes, I'm joking. Sarcasm is tough on the Internet.) Okay, I'm humble. I have a hard time admitting how awesome I am.

But I'm serious about them taking me and I'm serious about it being worthwhile. I could quibble over some of the structure and so forth, but it was worthwhile and I feel better able to cope with my job and some of my outside life as well.

So after work Thursday I drove to the airport and hopped a flight to Chicago. Then I got in an airport shuttle for a half hour ride to Hamburger University. Okay, it was the Hyatt Lodge at Hamburger University. But the entire place is adorned with art featuring the golden arches. Even the door handles to the johns have them. But apparently Mickey D's rents the places for other conferences. So for two days I craved Big Macs even as they fed me (slightly) healthier food.

One of the things I liked most about it is that for most of the first day we focused on our strengths. We live in a culture that often focuses on our negatives, our weaknesses, and it's hard to step back and say "Wait, why should I focus on the things I'm no damned good at?" (For instance, ending sentences with prepositions. More sarcasm.) Anyway, I got the opportunity to focus on things I'm good at, in my personal life and in my job. I came away thinking that perhaps I'm more of a leader in my personal life than my professional one, but that's okay.

Overall, it was insightful and useful. I met some interesting people who I count as colleagues and companions. I hope to keep those connections. And it gave me some things to think about.

I flew back last night to a house full of rosepurr's cooking - quiche and soup and pie. What more can a man ask for?

If you've been reading this blog consistently, you know I've been doing this season of therealljidol. This is Week 2. This past week, I submitted a personal entry about my struggle to regain my soul against the (exterior, definitely not interior) urges to practice law (you can read it here).

What amazes me is that during the vote this week is that, at last count, I got 69 votes. 69! (Okay, go ahead and get the laughs out of your system about entendres about that number.) You can talk me about the power of the Internet and all that good stuff, but it still amazes that at least 66 people I've never met in person (besides my vote, there are 2 people in the competition I've met in person) found my writing interesting and provocative enough to at least warrant continuing in the competition. That's really gratifying. My goal in joining LJ Idol this year was really just to get me writing more again and writing for public consumption, i.e., writing something people would read.

I've been impressed with the caliber of writers in the competition. Some of them are very, very good, able to express themselves with passion and clarity. But 66 is a lot of people. Sure, it's not enough to warrant giving up my day job to write a damn novel or something, but it amazes me. Maybe I'm easily impressed.

So, overall, a weekend of awesome!


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 6th, 2008 02:34 am (UTC)
*snuggles* You're my amazing bit of star stuff.
Oct. 6th, 2008 03:14 am (UTC)
I still don't quite know about that, but thank you, darling. I love the you.
Oct. 7th, 2008 03:59 am (UTC)
Did you use the StrengthsQuest model for the strengths part of your leadership experience? I've got a real interest in strengths models so I'm excited to see you mention it!
Oct. 8th, 2008 10:41 pm (UTC)
Sorry for taking a bit to respond, but I had to see what we used. I don't think it's StrengthsQuest. At least that's not what it's called.

Here's the website for the survey we had to complete before the academy: http://viasurvey.org/

Hope it helps. :)
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )


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