Keep Moving Forward Through the Ups and Downs

By John Lawlor

Several reflective conversations I’ve had recently with a wide variety of business and non-profit leaders have been illuminating—and particularly as they relate to the natural consternation that occurs in #HigherEd and #enrollmentmanagement around May 1.

Life is like a book—and so are work experiences. We all encounter various chapters, some short and long, some good and bad. But, as Father Richard Rohr has noted, “The path to glory is the path of descent.” And no surprise, author David Brooks touches on this, too, in his new book, The Second Mountain. He notes, “Many wise people self-consciously divide their life into chapters and they focus on the big question of what this chapter is for.” Often the illumination occurs in the “valley” between the two mountains.

Right now, many college and university admission professionals are encountering the prestigious assessment of things (as families evaluate quality and amenities according to the standard of name-brand institutions) and are frequently being driven into a valley trying to compete. As a very successful business executive recently shared with me, “Ignite the moment.” In addition to facing pressure from external forces, some institutions are failing to marshal all of their internal forces. It takes a village to bring in a class—and keep a class. Fostering a shared understanding of wants, needs, and whys can help facilitate more discussing, discerning, and doing. And help individuals move out of the valley.