Planners’ Picks ― April 12, 2022

Planners’ Picks

A collection of resources from CSN planning committee members worth mentioning

Let’s slow down and relish the moments around us this week. We’ll take a break, strive for SUCCES, and do some spring cleaning too.


||| Image of the Week: |||

Fortune cookie with "patience is teh Key to Joy" on it.

“Sitting in ambiguity, despite the discomfort, allows us to imagine multiple possible storylines, instead of jumping to a status-quo solution. Mindfulness allows us to stay present, in the discomfort, to feel more comfortable with the grey space of the unknown. In that space, we can imagine other possibilities, using our divergent thinking to explore “what if” thinking.”  – Dr. Caroline Brookfield, The Reluctant Creative

My workmate once opened a fortune cookie and read “Patience is the key to joy.” Since that time, the management team at DPPS has uttered those words hundreds of times when things were not moving at the pace we wanted them to. Sometimes slowing down and letting things happen at their natural speed will actually allow them to pan out more fully than you could imagine. Stuck in traffic? Think of three things you are grateful for. Waiting in line for something? Start a conversation with the person next to you. What is your key to joy? CSN would love to hear about it!  – Rich Gassen

“Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.” ―A.A. Milne


||| Resources on Mental Health and Self-Care |||

3 ways to keep my head above water when it feels like I’m drowning

Maybe it’s COVID.  Maybe it’s just life.  The waves keep coming and the undertow threatens to pull us under. In the movie Finding Nemo, there is a lot of diversity and tough conditions that Marlin and Dory face.  Each time, Dory moves forward with her sing-song “just keep swimming” seemingly unaware of the dangers around her. It’s difficult sometimes to stay positive and keep going when we feel like we’re drowning.  “Just keep swimming” might as well be “just keep drowning” unless we do something to buoy ourselves.

Disconnect to Reconnect: How I Take Guilt-Free Vacations (and Truly Check Out)

I wish I hadn’t worked so hard. I wish I’d let myself be happier.

Those are two of the top regrets of people on their deathbeds, according to palliative care nurse, Bronnie Ware, in her book, The Top Five Regrets of the Dying. Too many of us are running on autopilot and are on the brink of burnout, disconnected from what brings us joy. We work hard but don’t offset it with play and rest.  Check out this informative article from Rachel Druckenmiller on how to disconnect to reconnect.

“Walk slowly, but never backward.” – James Clear in Atomic Habits

Building Healthy Habits When You’re Truly Exhausted

How do you form new habits when you’re exhausted? The key is to start small, to take a gentle, whole-person approach for long-term change. First, start by establishing a regular sleep habit, from going to bed at the same time to waking up at the same time. Then, work on your nutrition. Aim for more water, and identify eating habits that make you feel more energized and less drained. Next, fold in some exercise, whether it is regular cardio or adding some stretches and steps into your workday. Once you’ve established these healthy habits, then you can expand into others. Work on one new habit at a time, and take it slowly and steadily.


||| Resources on Communication |||

If You Use These 6 Phrases a Lot, You’re a Better Leader Than You Think

Communicating effectively with your employees is vitally important to your success as a leader. Even Warren Buffettconsiders developing your communication skills one of the best investments you’ll ever make, stating that it “can increase your value by at least 50 percent.” But to inspire people with words isn’t as easy as merely talking. It takes a very human approach in the way you speak to them. Even if you believe that you’re a good communicator, chances are you’ve run into situations where no matter how clear the message, there’s a disconnect with the other person. Taking into account the countless human interactions during a normal workday, there are certain verbal expressions that may help you increase trust and enhance your relationships.

Using the “SUCCES” Principle to Communicate more Effectively

Emotionally Intelligent leaders master the art of communication. Chip and Dan Heath’s book, Made to Stick, shows you how to communicate successfully.  See a summary of it here:

“I’ve found that luck is quite predictable. If you want more luck, take more chances. Be more active. Show up more often.” – Brian Tracy 


||| Resources on Self-Leadership Development |||

The 10 Best Things To Discard To ‘Spring Clean’ Your Career

This time of year, many people find themselves with an urge to purge what’s no longer useful, clearing away the outdated and unnecessary stuff cluttering their lives. The same concept can be applied to your professional world, too. Here are the ten best things to discard to “spring clean” your career by Amy Blaschka.

“Look around your environment. Rather than seeing items as objects, see them as magnets for your attention. Each object gently pulls a certain amount of your attention toward it. Whenever you discard something, the tug of that object is released. You get some attention back.” – James Clear

Improving Your Skills in Management

Here are some resources to support you in writing smarter goals, holding better meetings, and gaining clarity around your values.

Leadership Summit Recordings Now Available

CSN had advertised last week’s The BLUEPRINT Leadership Summit.  They presented an illuminating week in conversation with the top leadership minds and luminaries in the business space.  If you missed any of the sessions last week, no worries—the links to the full video recordings for all 5 days are below. We highly recommend Day 1, focusing on vulnerability and trust, and Day 2, highlighting the idea of multipliers within our teams.


Day 1: Brené Brown

Day 2: Liz Wiseman

Day 3: Steve Collis

Day 4: Susan Cain

Day 5: The BLUEPRINT Power Panel


||| Managing Student Workers |||

Meet the (New) Needs of College Students Today

It goes without saying that college is a time of exciting personal growth, social exploration, and concentrated career preparation. Each student will have their own way of making the most of the unique opportunities presented to them during this dynamic phase of life. Frequently, students are attracted to the stability of the academic environment and have faith that attending college can help them establish similar levels of security in their lives after they graduate.

Today’s students are seeking a future-proof education that will help them confidently navigate the job marketplace. They are attending college not just for their own success but also for the success of their families. They expect to be given the rigorous coursework and leadership opportunities that will help them secure jobs so they can support themselves and their loved ones.

One of the ways colleges and universities can help students prepare for the workforce is by fostering skills like resilience and collaboration. The Manpower Group June 2021 survey on The Talent Shortage revealed the demand for soft skills is more important than ever. By focusing on a few critical principles like leadership, and with the help of the right tools, universities can enhance student engagement and ensure their graduates’ lasting success.


||| Upcoming Events |||

 Leadership @ UW Spring Open House

Wednesday, April 27th, 3:00 – 5:00 pm
Memorial Union, Great Hall

All UW-Madison students, staff, and faculty are invited to this special event, hosted by Leadership @ UW, that showcases leadership development efforts across campus. We are excited to bring back this event in-person this year to unveil the newly polished and officially validated UW-Madison Leadership Framework! Learn of the many exciting developments that support leadership education on campus, network with the campus community, enjoy refreshments, and support leadership at UW-Madison!

Come when you can and leave when you must (and bring friends and colleagues)!  Advance registration is requested by April 20th.  Registration is preferred, but not required.