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Emerging from the Shadows at Work: Letting Your Light Shine

The first in the series of the SELT Professional Development sessions for 2001-02 was held on Tuesday October 23rd, 2001 in the CSB Alumnae Hall.  Approximately 60 individuals who supervise students were in attendance at the breakfast program.  SELT members Valerie Knopp-Pederson and Angie Schmidt handled registration and Chris LeDuc introduced the speaker, Paul LeDuc.

Paul LeDuc is an ordained minister, motivational speaker, and past college professor.  His presentation began with the history of work, was peppered with personal stories to illustrate key points, and included a quick assessment of participants’ employment experience of CSB.

Employees need to have satisfied three basic expectations or longings - emotional, mental, and physical - to reduce turnover and increase retention. Some aspects examined during the presentation were:

  • Our need to shine: Being confirmed as a special person capable of making a unique and significant contribution to the whole in the presence of others
  • Shining has three parts: 1) being able to express the joy that comes when we are able to apply our skills, 2) feeling our skills are needed, and appreciated by others, and 3) knowing that we are connecting with a purpose that transcends the immediate.  If humans don’t experience these things, they disconnect with their work
  • Creating places to shine: understand that our companies act as “Super Parents” that define reality in the workplace and therefore require a new form of leadership which includes recognizing the shadows, a desire for change, new role definition, new skills in problem-solving, a willingness to play with new solutions, and confirmation of one’s employees
  • Seven Bold Steps: 
    1. Know yourself.
    2. Let go of desire to control everything and everyone.
    3. Get to know others.
    4. Connect to a Purpose.
    5. Become a match-maker (a person’s talent to his/her role).
    6. Dare to really care for others, and
    7. Simplify, simplify, simplify!  Use your skills, care for others and connect with a purpose that transcends the immediate – the formula for shining is not complicated.

As supervisors, it is our responsibility to take a leadership role in helping student employees to shine.  This may be done by taking the Leadership Challenge and by practicing Seven Bold Steps to shine.

Leadership Challenge
  1. Recognize the mess and embrace the shadows.
    New creativity, opportunities, visions and home can come form the chaos.
  2. Desire a change.
  3. Fact finding and role finding.
  4. Problem solving.
  5. Idea finding and playing with solutions.
  6. Acceptance and confirmation.