Ellucian NEXT: Mastery, Trusting the Process, and the #PowerofTogether
- Alex is a co-lead of our emerging professionals employee resource group, NEXT.
- The NEXT community and its leaders have created a variety of educational opportunities for various types of learners.
- Alex enjoys being a part of a company that provides the resources to cultivate growth and new perspectives in a collaborative environment.
People often mention “passion” when they talk about people who intensely pursue their goals as they strive to achieve mastery or some other endpoint. But there’s another type of passion: the kind that’s consciously designed to last for a long time, perhaps a lifetime, and through the vicissitudes of life. Instead of passion powering someone towards a specific endpoint—a certain position or place or mark—the goal instead is greatness as a process, in which the evolution of the process is the mastery. This is measured in repeated honing of skills and developing a sophisticated and mature relationship with your craft. Adopting this mindset gets even better when a group of people embraces it and they help power one another.
Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness describe this mindset in their book The Passion Paradox: “You don’t define yourself by any single moment in time; you define yourself by an entire body of work in service of ongoing growth and development. Your pursuit ceases to be something you are aiming for and becomes a part of who you are.” The Philadelphia 76ers would say “Trust the process.”
For me, mastery is the path of not only improving my technical skills at my current role, but also setting myself up for growth into other roles, and growth with professional learning in general. Although I am an analyst now, my mindset is to become a sophisticated and adaptable professional through evolving situations.
Ellucian has helped me thus far by facilitating employee resource groups like Ellucian NEXT. Around February 2018, I connected with the leader of the group, who introduced me to what was then called Young Ellucian Network, a group designed to provide support, development opportunities, and resources geared towards individuals beginning their career. Eventually, the group was renamed Ellucian NEXT, and the number of participants has been growing, with people from across the company that would otherwise not get a chance to meet otherwise. Since January, I have been given the opportunity to be a co-lead for the NEXT group and collaborate with the fellow co-leads in the other Ellucian offices to better lead this group.
NEXT has created a variety of opportunities to reach various types of learners. For example, Steve Cavin, a principal trainer at Ellucian, gave a presentation last March that explored the role of internal and external searches in calibrating process-based career goals for a long-term mindset. NEXT also offers informal, employee-led collaborations. For example, we recently facilitated the first in a series of lunchtime roundtable discussions with our executive sponsor Mike Liou, Ellucian’s vice president of product marketing, who shared career advice and answered questions. We also have a book club, in which we recently discussed Henry Petroski’s To Engineer is Human and the applicability of engineering philosophy to understanding and assessing failures and successes.
I’m happy to be a part of a company that provides the resources to cultivate growth and perspectives of people in a collaborative environment. Ellucian provides the vehicle for other employees to pursue mastery as a process through employee resource groups like Ellucian NEXT. Ellucian NEXT is a great example of how the #poweroftogether can lead to growth of individual professionals.