Charlie Nutt, NACADA Executive Director
As the deadline for this issue’s column loomed over me, I found myself struggling with a theme for my comments. However, I had the opportunity recently to read Tom Rath’s new book Are You Fully Charged? The 3 Keys to Energizing Your Work and Life (2015) and found his three keys so closely connected to what we in academic advising focus on and to President Spight’s four types of engagement, that I felt it was important to share.
Rath defines his three keys as:
- Meaning: doing something that benefits another person
- Interactions: creating more positive than negative moments
- Energy: making choices that improve your mental and physical health
Rath demonstrates that to be fully charged requires being more focused on the world outside of ourselves. Reading this book after just having just read The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement by Jean Twenge and Keith Campbell (2010), I was intrigued that many of our students, who have grown up in a world that convinces them that they are the best at everything, could fall into this narcissism epidemic as they focus only on themselves. If we as advising professionals focus beyond ourselves to become fully energized, we can be more effective in working to help our students look outside of themselves as well.
As I think about my personal role at Kansas State University and in NACADA, I have been spending time reflecting on my own actions, decisions, and work in the field. How often can I truly say I am doing something that benefits others or am I doing something that benefits me? How do I purposefully take time to create positive moments in a day compared to making the much easier negative moments? And last, while Rath defines energy as making choices to improve your mental and physical health, I clearly saw in my analysis a connection between this key and the other two. It is much easier to focus on the benefits of others and create positive moments when you are mentally and physically healthy.
What are the results of my self-reflection? First, I believe that I do things that benefit others, but I am asking myself to intentionally make this a part of decision making as a personal priority. Second, I feel that I create more positive than negative moments, but what I see as positive, others might view as negative. So again, how can I be more intentional in making my moments and interactions positive creations? And last, as I have recently entered a new decade of my life, I have to be honest by saying that I need to make some better choices in the area of health!! So, in the next year, my goal is to see how “fully charged” I can be personally, but also how “fully charged” I can be in NACADA.
To start this journey of intentional choices and positive creations, I would like to highlight some of the NACADA’s recent successful opportunities. First, by thanking all of the Region Chairs, Region Conference Chairs, and Conference Committees for all of their hard work on this year’s region conferences. Certainly their work has illustrated Rath’s definition of meaning by benefiting NACADA members in each of their regions. By the time you read this, several will have occurred, but if you haven’t had the chance to take part in a region conference, you still have time! By all indications, this year’s conferences will again have near record attendance, which indicates the high quality of the region conferences as well as the growing interest in academic advising and NACADA.
In addition to our region conference, our 4th Annual NACADA International Conference has taken place in Dubai, hosted by Zayed University. Participants represented over fifteen countries with more present and past leaders of NACADA than ever before at an International conference. I am excited to see our global outreach and initiatives grow as we work diligently and intentionally to network and learn from one another about the impact that academic advising has on our students.
Our Winter Events, the Academic Advising Assessment Institute, Academic Advising Administrators’ Institute, and Analytics in Academic Advising: Using Data in Decision Making Seminar, all had record attendance this year. We are pleased to have added a track to the Administrators’ Institute for administrators with campus-wide or institution-wide responsibilities. This track provides opportunities for participants to network and discuss key issues and challenges that these administrators face along with their other campus-wide responsibilities. It was an excellent positive creation for the winter activities.
These are examples of what we as an association have accomplished. Now I ask myself, what can I do in my work with the association that benefits others, creates positive not negative moments, and helps both my own health and the health of the association? These are questions I am going ask myself to intentionally move toward being fully charged. To follow the path of our President, David Spight, I challenge each you to join me in this path of self-reflection and on this guided pathway to being fully charged. Trust me, we are never too old to grow!
Charlie Nutt, Executive Director
NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising
Rath, T. (2015). Are you fully charged?: The 3 keys to energizing your work and life. United States: Silicon Guild.
Twenge, J.M., & Campbell, W.K. (2010). The narcissism epidemic: Living in the age of entitlement. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Cite this article using APA style as: Nutt, C. (2016, March). From the executive director: Fully charged. Academic Advising Today, 39(1). Retrieved from [insert url here]