Planners’ Picks — November 21, 2023

Planners’ Picks 

A collection of resources from CSN planning committee members worth mentioning

We’re giving thanks this week—for our families, our work, and our networks. By the way, we appreciate YOU and your involvement in CSN. This family of 1600 members is moving the needle for the UW campus to be better every day, and we are grateful for that.

Enjoy this week’s resources, and have a blessed holiday weekend.


:: Image of the Week

A photo of a bountiful harvest, with the quote:

Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.

- William Arthur Ward

:: CSN’s Book of the Week Recommendation

Cultivating a Servant Heart: Insights from Servant Leaders

Take a leadership development journey and community service with a number of prominent servant leaders.

Follow along the inward journey of Servant Leaders as community leaders and influential businesspeople share insights and stories about their life’s work. These stories, woven together with the unifying threads of our past, present, and future, are filled to the brim with inspiring insights and life lessons.

Whether it be a nonprofit, large corporation, faith community, or the city streets, these leaders take readers along through their childhoods, leadership development, visions for the future, and the passions that continue to energize and cultivate their servant leadership lifestyle. Readers will learn exactly how servant leaders have, and continue to, nurture hearts of love, and do the work of softening the heart—a task that is never done.

Readers will learn lessons about:

  • Community Building
  • Sacred Listening
  • Leadership Development

While the contents of the book read like a well-told story, it also works as a guide for all those who seek to serve others, build compassion, open hearts, and develop strong bonds within their community. Whether you are a practitioner of traditional servant leadership or not, these insights can be applied to any person in any situation.

Consider Caitlin’s book, Cultivating a Servant Heart: Insights from Servant Leaders as she reflects upon the wisdom of those she interviewed and the lessons she learned about servant leadership along the way! There’s a short video on this link:

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” – Robert Brault


:: Resources on Self-Leadership Development

Another View – The New Happy Newsletter

Stephanie Harrison, founder of The New Happy, believes that we all have two jobs in life:

  1. Learning to understand, accept, and love ourselves.
  2. Learning to understand, accept, and love others.

Check out her recent newsletter on how gaining others’ perspectives might be a better way to get to a solution or figure something out. The next time that someone shares a different perspective with you, try saying these words to yourself: “This is a chance for me to learn more about how someone else sees the world.” The reason that this intention works so well is that it grounds you in curiosity rather than judgment.

Read the whole newsletter (and sign up for future issues) here:

“Life is about using the whole box of crayons.” -RuPaul

The Most Important Career Question To Ask Yourself—And Why Your Answer Matters

Like most people, you’re probably eager to make progress in your career. But sometimes, as you acquire more experience and take on additional responsibilities, you become so incredibly busy you lose track of why you’re working so hard in the first place. And given your efforts, you might wonder why you’re not moving closer to your goals. Before spending another minute on your to-do list, it’s imperative that you pause and ask yourself one simple yet important question that Amy Blaschka points out in this Forbes article.


:: Resources on Work Culture & Team Development

5 Mistakes Leaders Make That Sabotage Their Teams’ Happiness

Leaders today are under immense scrutiny for everything from their companies’ performance to their own messaging.

While many leaders have good intentions and do their best to motivate, inspire, and create the conditions for their teams to be happy, too often this is not the case. As a leader, you may take actions that have unintended consequences—and you may be sabotaging your team members’ happiness in the process. More on this from the Fast Company.

“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase; Just take the first step.” —Martin Luther King, Jr.

Give Thanks to Your HR Team!

Recognizing the hard work and exceptional performance of your HR staff is essential to creating a community of respect and excellence. Employees are more likely to continue innovating efficient systems, positively impact the community, and experience greater job satisfaction when acknowledged for their contributions. We are excited to seek nominations for this year’s HR@UW Conference Awards.

More information on nominations here:

Staying Resilient and Motivated After Setbacks and Failures

It can be hard to pick yourself back up and continue moving forward when you’ve had a setback or failed at something in your career or as a leader. You may find that you’ve lost the motivation and the confidence to pursue your aspirations. But how you respond to setbacks and failures will determine how you get through them.

In this live lunch and learn session, author and executive coach Carol Stewart shares tips on what you can do to develop resilience and stay motivated and confident when facing setbacks and failure.


:: Resources on Mental Health and Self-Care

Dopamine fasting is a tech fad that sounds silly – but might just work

What on earth is Dopamine Fasting? The idea is to deprive yourself of dopamine hits, to break your addiction to our hyperstimulating world, thereby finding pleasure once again in life’s more meaningful but less buzz-inducing delights, such as natural beauty, good literature, or time with old friends. Want to learn more? Read this article from the author of the book Four Thousand Weeks, Oliver Burkeman.

“Well-being is not a burden or a luxury, it is an individual and collective need.”  – Jessica Horn

How To Train Your Brain To Become More Curious

Any parent who’s been asked the question “Why?” numerous times knows that kids are innately curious. The world is new, and they’re seeking greater understanding—no matter how frustrating it is when you’re on the receiving end of their questioning.

“Curiosity is encoded in our brains,” says Scott Shigeoka, author of Seek: How Curiosity Can Transform Your Life and Change the World. “We needed someone in the group to wonder if there’s water on the other side of that mountain, or to track an animal, or to learn. Curiosity is a vehicle for learning to build tools.”

Read this Fast Company article on how to train your brain to become more curious.

“Gratitude is one of the most powerful human emotions. Once expressed, it changes attitude, brightens outlook, and broadens our perspective.” ― Germany Kent

Watch (or RE-watch) “Gratitude Revealed” for Free this Thanksgiving!

Louie Schwartzberg and his team have received literally thousands of personal comments letting them know how Gratitude Revealed has become a tradition that can bring your loved ones and community together during this season of gratitude.

In the spirit of the season of gatherings, generosity, and reciprocity, they invite you to add this film to your festivities. You may feel inspired to share this with someone in your life who could use an uplifting, positive film. Please share with our deepest gratitude – Our greatest hope is to have as many people experience the power of gratitude during these times.


:: Upcoming Events

Attend the Information & Technology Leadership Conference

To celebrate 10 years of the Information and Technology Leadership Conference (I&TLC), the 2023 I&TLC will connect the past, present, and future of leadership in information and technology, providing attendees with insights and tools to develop leaders who make a positive impact upon those around them. The 2023 conference will be held in person (at the Wisconsin Institute of Discovery) and virtually, and speakers may present in person or virtually on Dec. 5, 2023.

There will be a fireside chat with UW–Madison Provost Charles Lee Isbell, Jr., who is renowned for his interdisciplinary approaches in AI research and commitment to educational reform. Provost Isbell’s insights promise to inspire—from spotlight features in The New York Times to groundbreaking educational initiatives at Georgia Tech, his journey embodies innovation and access in higher education. Don’t miss the chance to engage in a Q&A session with this visionary leader!

CSN’s own Rich Gassen will be co-presenting with Jenny Erickson on the topic of Atomic Habits at Work during this conference as well. Registration is free and required in order to access the content.

Date: December 5, 2023
Online or in-person at the Discovery Building


Seeking Proposals for Student Employee Diversity Forum

We invite you to submit a workshop proposal for the Student Employee Diversity Forum!  The annual forum is an opportunity to bring student employees together to exchange ideas which engage in a variety of topics on diversity, identity, and inclusion.  We are seeking dynamic and engaging workshops to inspire, empower, and educate our student employees.

The deadline for proposals is Sunday, December 17th at 11:59 pm.  Below are details of the forum and the link to submit a proposal.

Friday, March 8, 2024
Gordon Dining & Event Center
11:00 am – 3:00 pm

Forum Learning Outcomes & Goals

  • Communicate new perspectives and knowledge to participants, providing a foundation for mindful discussion.
  • Develop valuable skills that will foster and encourage an expanded awareness surrounding diversity, identity, and inclusion.
  • Empower participants to express their identity and feel confident in their ability to create inclusive environments.

View a PDF of the Forum Proposal Forum 

If you have any questions or need additional information, please do not hesitate to reach out to our Student Employment Team in the Office of Student Financial Aid. Thank you for your interest in elevating this work with our student employees on campus.  We look forward to receiving your workshop proposals.

Proposal Link: