I received news early Friday evening that my name wouldn’t be advanced to the final round for the Presidency of FGCU. While I never like finishing out of the running, I think they made a good choice. The farther you go up the ladder, the more important that the person and organization fit. Organizations have different needs at different times in their development. For instance, sometimes an organization needs innovation, change and a questioning of their value proposition. Other times, they need a calm steady hand that gives them the space in which to consolidate gains and set up future growth. It’s not so much about you as it is about them.
I was interested in having a conversation with FGCU because I was hoping that as a young institution looking to build an identity, that they would be willing to join me on an uncomfortable ride to a different kind of future that we would invent together along the way… one based on defining the perspectives, experiences, mindsets and relationships that would transform people. It seemed like a chance to implement fundamental change across a whole institution. As the interview unfolded, it became clear that they were looking for someone to show them a more certain road to a more conventional definition of success. In retrospect, I probably was asking too much for a group to trust me that much at the outset…A second interview might have helped, but my approach tends to grow on people over time as our joint successes mount.
The good news is that I got to tell our story and I think we’ve come a long way in the college to build the kind of trust necessary to take us on that kind of journey. More than happy to continue on that ride.
Sometimes when you explore an opportunity, you find out that the better place for you is where you already are.