Saturday, August 13, 2016

Looking back, looking ahead

A little over a month ago, I sat with my president and we reviewed the past year, my job performance, my personal strategic plan, and what I hoped to and should work on for the coming months.
It's something that we had wanted to do for a bit and we finally found the time.

Developing a personal strategic plan in itself was very self reflective and helpful to me.
We get caught up in the day to day and need to force ourselves to step back and look at our lives as though we were looking at someone else's life and be objective about it.  That way we are less likely to wake up one day and say, "how did I get here?"
My president is a master at this, with her guidance we have developed with our executive board strategic plans for our organization, we have asked our employees to do the same for themselves, we have asked our divisional councils to do so, and we are beginning to work with our Locals to do the same.
They are fluid, living documents. Statements of where we would like to be in the future with benchmarks of time and units of measure to evaluate our progress. They are meant to be evaluated on a regular schedule and adjusted as needed.

The personal strategic plan I developed and discussed with Jan is a combination of personal and professional evaluations and goals.
I'll not share it but I will share that my overall goal is to be as valuable as possible to the organization.
I have sub goals that I believe will lead me to that objective and then a clear dilatation of my specific areas of responsibility within the organization, with more specific steps that will hopefully allow me to achieve my sub goals and overall goal.
The idea is to use this as a tool to evaluate regularly to see, have I been pulled off course as I deal with day to day responsibilities? Do I need to adjust my plan because the situation on the ground has changed?

So, where am I, one year into this new position?
Let's look at the past month.
I attended the AFT Convention for the first time as the state VP, with 30,000 members in education, healthcare and public service. Previously, I had attended as a president of 370 Registered Nurses who had formed their own union.
Yeah, it's a different role.
While I am adjusting to a role of representing a much larger and more diverse group, I am also adjusting to a transition from being a charter president to a vice president. I think I've done well, but I'm not perfect, and I continue to learn.
The following week I attended the Democratic National Convention as a delegate. Besides being very exciting and interesting to be there and be a part of history, it was an opportunity to spend a lot of time with a lot of influential people. Having the opportunity to have conversations about the hopes and dreams of our diverse membership is a two way street. I want to tell legislators and they want to listen, because, frankly, representing 30,000 active members/state residents is a big responsibility and honor for me but also for the legislators.
Then it was back to the office and this week, and through a series of travel commitments and illness, I found myself the officer seeing to the day to day back here in Connecticut. (Of course, Jan, Jean and Ed were a phone call away, and I used those calls)
I got to chair my first Executive Committee meeting this week.
I won't lie, I was a bit nervous before, but it went well.

So, where am I, one year into this new position?
Still learning.
I hope I can always say that. I think if I ever get to the point where I "know it all," it will be time for me to leave.
I'm comfortable in my new role. I have incredible support form those around me and I hope I am a source of support for them.
I think I'm doing good work.
I keep in my mind the incredible work our members do, in education, in healthcare, and in public service, and that pushes me to do the best I can.
I'm looking back to see, am I on track? Am I making progress? Have I remembered my goals?
Add I'm looking ahead.
I've been given a gift and I understand that, and I want to make the best use of the opportunity to be as valuable to the organization, our members and the movement as I can be.

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