It's embarrassing to admit that I love reading Rob Brezsny's Free Will Astrology and have for many years. Rob always has something quirky enough to say about Capricorns that it always feels profound There is no prediction of the future, but there is always reflection.
For the week starting 9/28/2022, Rob told us Capricorns the following: "Let's imagine you are in your office or on the job or sitting at your kitchen table. With focused diligence, you're working on solving a problem or improving a situation that involves a number of people. You think to yourself, "No one seems to be aware that I am quietly toiling here behind the scenes to make the magic happen." A few days or a few weeks later, your efforts have been successful. The problem is resolved or the situation has improved. But then you hear the people involved say, "Wow, I wonder what happened? It's like things got fixed all by themselves." If a scenario like this happens, Capricorn, I urge you to speak up and tell everyone what actually transpired."
This was the scenario in most of my administrative life. Any success I have had is because I empowered really good people to move toward a vision- but my sweat, blood and tears are embedded in every good thing I helped lead or facilitate. I had so many personal rewards for seeing problems solved and the institutions I worked at get better- and I always enjoyed giving credit to others.
But, humans are a competitive species, and people who don't like you or want your job, have no trouble finding vulnerabilities and/or developing false narratives when there was not a competing narrative created by you. In Arkansas, this was not a problem with my boss- he completely made me feel he understood my effort and contributions- but false narratives created by others with an agenda, built a strong enough political coalition to perpetuate a false narrative to just a few, albeit powerful, people
The reality is that I am just not good at selling "what actually transpired", and despite, Rob Brezny's insight, I feel morally centered in never developing a good chord progression to sing my own praises. But, if you want to go into senior admin in higher ed, think about how this relates to you and your willingness to work, sometimes, almost as hard at talking about what you are doing, as you work actually doing it..
I still have a hard time accepting that once a senior administrator leaves a position, the problems they solved and the things they did to make the institution better, become the successes of the new senior administrator(s) (even when those individuals fought the problem solving and the things that were done to move the institution forward), And, anything a former administrator did that new administrators want to change, just becomes problems the former administrator created that they will now be the saviors to fix.
Academics are scholars who rely on process to move fields forward. Yet, we also get infected, particularly when we rise into administration but sometimes in our fields, with what I call "burning man disease". That is-- we love to create straw men narratives (often simplistic or false), and then burn them down hoping an audience sees our intellectual brilliance. I hope I never see another presentation that lists "myths" that nobody actually believes, and then go through a silly process of destroying myths that everyone already knows are false. And, I hope I never hear myself say, or hear anyone else say, "what the hell did that previous person do?" and then go about creating the narrative of needing a savior to make everything alright.
Thanks, again, Rob, though, for a horoscope that causes reflection, and doesn't pretend to predict the future...
The picture in this post was from one of the few times I asked others to help sell my accomplishments leading to being recognized for a career a impactful work in science and effectively building research infrastructure on campuses and in some states. I hate to admit that I truly enjoyed the recognition (as my smile below indicates). But, I still haven't written a good chord progression to express that happy feeling.