Greetings from the Garthwait Leadership Center and welcome to the December edition of the GLC Newsletter.
The end of the calendar year, especially a year like 2021, is an appropriate time for reflection.
Reflection is an essential aspect of learning, and a useful habit for all effective leaders.
“We do not learn from experience...we learn from reflecting on experience.”
~ Attributed to many
Many barriers exist in our day-to-day lives that make reflection difficult. Our schedules and demands tempt us to simply move on to the next thing rather than take the time to reflect. However, I like to think that there are many ways leaders can reflect:
- An informal chat with a colleague
- Handwriting in a journal
- Posting an insight on social media
- Facilitating an After Action Review (AAR)
- Thinking while washing the dishes, taking a hike, or in the midst of any other activity
With a little bit of intention and attention, reflection helps us to “make meaning” from our experiences. This process enables us to see things more wholly, to draw out insights, and to apply lessons for the future. Sometimes it is helpful to have a framing or a guide for reflection, and this resource from the leadership coaching world is one of the best lists of reflective questions I’ve found.
Based on the GLC's use of adult and experiential learning theory, we integrate methods of reflection throughout our work. We believe that building habits around meaning-making will serve students well beyond their four years at Gettysburg.
As I reflect on our work in 2021, I am proud of the community we continue to build to empower students and young alumni at Gettysburg College to lead ethically and effectively. Some of my favorite highlights from this year include:
- Launching an inaugural J-Term program for 54 students to develop team-building skills, while scaling a virtual Mt. Everest.
- Successfully completing our first-ever crowdfunding campaign in honor of the GLC’s 10-year anniversary. The effort raised more than $46,000 from 128 donors. Thanks to many of you for your support!
- Growing our Group Facilitation Fellowship to more than 20 students this fall. These students learn the facilitation skills necessary to lead student organizations, research teams, and other small groups.
the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute. Look out for more information on these exciting endeavors in the new year!
As we transition to 2022, I hope you take this opportunity to “go to the balcony” to reflect on your leadership endeavors and to find your key learnings to build from in the future.
Thank you for reading and I look forward to connecting with you in the new year!
P.S. - If you’d like us to send you a GLC journal and pen to help facilitate your reflection process, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with your mailing address and I will pop one in the mail!