Last weekend provided an opportunity to ask 28 other Vistage chairs to challenge gaps between my beliefs and my behaviors.
One of those gaps: spending too much time online, especially during the evenings. It's costing me incremental depth in my relationships here at home. So the computer has to be turned off at dinnertime.
But, wait. I'm online at night because I have real online work to do. And I have online work to do at night, because I am working out of the home all day.
Push has come to shove.
Something has to give. So I decided to trim my workday work load.
Right now. Before I change my mind.
So I have just quit a beloved teaching assignment.
This week, I asked Ohio State to remove me from the lineup starting in the autumn. That gives me one more academic quarter to try to get it right. (And, ethically, there are already students enrolled. I don't want to disappoint them.)
I told my current students about my decision. There was some argument that I should continue. But, mainly, we all agreed that I preach about (in the words of Pink Floyd) "exchanging cold comfort for change," so I should move on.
The Immediate Challenge
I cannot slow down — even on the job I've just quit.
Here's a note to the students:
To a Most Memorable Class Of Students:
Someday you will quit your job, like I have with Ohio State. (If you have missed a few classes, I've asked Ohio State to leave me out of the teaching lineup starting in the autumn. Maybe it's a final quitting. Maybe it's a few years off. I don't know.)
If you have already quit a meaningful job, you know this: there's nothing like the old job.
By that, I mean: once you have quit a job, you are suddenly tempted to work less hard at it, preferring to coast toward the finish line. Your attention and passion are naturally drawn toward what's coming: the next job.
As a teacher, I need to serve as a role model on this issue. So I am committed to striving all the way through to the finish line. I will double my effort. I will double my accessibility. (Let me know if you want to meet with me during specially scheduled "office" hours.) I will work harder.
One Ball Dropped
I have loved, loved, loved teaching creativity at Ohio State. I have felt like the Liberal Arts Department of the Business School.
I have thought that, in a world that teaches people how to be computers, I can be someone teaching them to be human. Pretty preposterous stuff. Ambitious. Somewhat successful, according to more than a few students.
Still, I can't juggle as many balls, because some of the balls are becoming heavier and taking on a more golden hue. So I had to put this ball down.