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  • 26 Mar 2021 2:30 PM | Anonymous

    The Transformation Of Our Health

    It is no secret that the COVID 19 pandemic has had a significant impact on people's stress and mental health. This impact has translated to increased anxiety, depression, trouble sleeping, trouble eating, weight gain, inflammation of preexisting chronic conditions, and increased substance abuse. 4 out of 10 Americans* now say they have experienced either anxiety or depression, up from 1 in 10 prior to 2020. 61% of adults* claim they have experienced unwanted weight changes since the start of the pandemic. And our younger counterparts (18-24 yrs), well, they too have had a tough go of it, with 56% of them reporting symptoms of anxiety and depression disorder due to the closures of universities and schools and loss of income or employment.

    Needless to say, the impacts of the pandemic are not a frivolous matter when it comes to our health. In our opinion, it has become even more crucial that we take care of ourselves AND each other right now. The pandemic will eventually recede, but our bodies, brains, and health are all things we will still have with us long after the crush of COVID has begun to fade.

    If you have been following our blogs over the last several months, you know that we have selected the word Transformative as our theme for 2020-21. While the negative transformative impacts of the pandemic on our health are glaring, we also believe that there are a few positive impacts as well. . One of these positive effects is that it has provided us an opportunity to slow down and bring our well-being into focus. More people have had to stop and think about their health and wellness, where they are going with it, and what they should be doing to improve it. Additionally, the recent rollout of the COVID vaccine has stimulated many conversations about health and the role scientific developments play within this arena. This attention, and these conversations, might be one of the few positive transformative impacts we see. 

    While people are more conscientious about washing hands, maintaining space, and cutting out needless large gatherings, there are additional steps to consider for positive transformative impacts on our health. Some of these could be: taking more walks or trying new exercise routines, spending more time in meditation or journaling, connecting with just one friend or family member every day, adding gratitude moments in your journals, finding new creative outlets,  preparing meals that uplift your mind and soul, and addressing your real feelings head-on by seeking additional support with life coaches, counselors, clergy etc. as needed. If you have specific methods for maintaining positive health, feel free to share a post on the League Facebook or LinkedIn page.

    Our hearts break for the families and loved ones who have been impacted by this pandemic.  There is mental and physical stress for everyone in our worldwide communities. If you are interested in positively transforming your community's health, see our blog 7 Ways to Give Back to Your Community Today! here.  Overall, we hope this year is a time of positive transformative behaviors in your own health and well-being.  

    * American Psychological Association. (2021, March 11). One year later, a new wave of pandemic health concerns. http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/2021/one-year-pandemic-stress

    * Kamal, R., Panchal, N., Cox, C., & Garfield, R. (2021, February 10). The implications of Covid-19 for mental health and substance use. Retrieved March 30, 2021, from https://www.kff.org/coronavirus-covid-19/issue-brief/the-implications-of-covid-19-for-mental-health-and-substance-use/

    The mission of the Global Leadership League is to ignite change across the global education field by empowering, connecting, and training leaders. We invite you to reach out to us here or learn more about becoming a member.

  • 18 Feb 2021 12:30 PM | Anonymous

    By: Lisa Brancheau, League Outcomes Coordinator

    Mentor Circles have long been a cornerstone of Global Leadership League programming. Groups of 3-4 professionals are matched to meet virtually once a month for four months while working through GLL-tailored content on a specific theme (Leadership, Negotiation, etc.). Reviewing participant feedback from the last three rounds of Mentor Circles, the Circles took on new meaning during the pandemic as one of the few remaining ways "to connect with other women and support each other in our ongoing journey as we way find," said one participant.

    As the pandemic spread globally, working from home became the norm, and the in-person networking opportunities that conferences and meetups provide were no longer possible. Based on responses to the Mentor Circle evaluations before and during the pandemic, there was a 14% increase in how useful the participants found Mentor Circle conversations—especially having a safe, confidential space to discuss the changes going on in the world. "The strengths were connecting with other women who hold a variety of perspectives due to their diverse backgrounds. It was really helpful to hear their experiences navigating the global pandemic, and that component really made me feel like we formed a stronger bond than we would have during a typical networking event or program. I truly appreciate the opportunity," shared another participant in the anonymous evaluation.  

    The League also recorded a 12% increase in those who would recommend the Mentor Circle program to others. This is just one comment of many that highlighted the strength of Mentor Circles; that you can connect with people you may not otherwise meet, "I think the connections you make with others in the field that you may not have connected with otherwise is the greatest strength of the Mentor Circle program. Having a shared activity/assignment that prompts conversation makes the connection seem natural and have a purpose, which I really like."

    The opportunity for reflection on a specific theme was another common benefit of participating in Mentor Circles. As noted by a participant, "...the topics of each Circle/meeting force you to think about it. There are many topics I've never spent time reflecting on before, and I appreciate that this encourages me to." 

    In a time of professional uncertainty for many in the field, one participant found the Mentor Circles "Very supportive and helped to get over the idea of imposter syndrome and feel empowered."

    Over 60 league members participate in each round of Mentor Circles, selecting from a number of themes requested by league members [Negotiation, Blazing Your Career Trail, Leadership and Designing a Well-Lived Life]. In response to the global pandemic and participant feedback, an additional workbook was added in June on "Navigating Change and Uncertainty," which had the most participation of any other theme in its debut session. The Mentoring and Coaching committee continues to apply the feedback we receive from Mentor Circle participants. In 2021, the League will add another workbook on the theme of Management, thanks to recommendations shared in the Mentor Circle evaluation. The existing workbooks will also get a content refresh which is great for members who want to revisit a topic.

    To learn more about our Mentor Circles, or to register for the next round, visit here

  • 27 Jan 2021 2:32 PM | Anonymous

    Do you remember the last time you laughed? Like, really really laughed? That laugh that starts in your belly and bursts forth in sincere mirth… when was the last time you shared a moment like that? Maybe it was just last night, or maybe it has been a few months. Either way, we all know, and can feel, how good laughter is for us.

    “As soap is to the body, so laughter is to the soul.”

    Jewish Proverb

    During our recent webinar, Let the Light In: How Humor Transforms Work and Life with Jacqueline Fletcher Johnson, we asked participants what brought them joy or laughter in 2020. So many of their answers were not only delightful, but also insightful. Laughter finds each one of us through our own unique sense of humor, equally as unique as the actual laughs that bubble out.

    Below are some of the examples that were shared for what brought laughter to our Global Leadership League community in 2020:

    • Watch the birds; hum a tune; read comics; watch cat videos; aromatherapy
    • Diving in the water.
    • Horseback riding
    • Feldenkrais practice
    • Ask Alexa to tell you a joke; most of the time they are corny but then you can't help but laugh. Enjoy just the simple moments; watch funny baby videos; go out and watch the stars; sit in the sun for 20 minutes - get your allotment of Vitamin D
    • Female comedian: Amy Wong
    • TikTok!
    • I have two cats...using the laser light and watching them chasing after it.
    • Pound Fitness
    • Make a point to watch comedians - late night talk show hosts.
    • Andrew Cotter Instagram (sports commentator in Scotland who makes dog videos!)
    • I like to watch videos of babies laughing. Their laugh is contagious!
    • Dancing
    • Nourishing - curling my hair, warm tea, mindless video games
    • Dressing up my dog in weird clothes/hats
    • Have a glass of wine.
    • Lily Tomlin
    • Make it a 'Chopped' night for dinner! Pick four odd ingredients and make a dish with them and limited pantry items.
    • Taking pictures on Snapchat with my kiddo.
    • Cat videos and photos
    • John Mulaney comedian
    • Bubble baths
    • Walks alone with a great audio book.
    • Funny stuff - TikTok (Jabria, are you smart? Handle:laronhinesofficial)
    • Be willing to be silly and laugh at yourself!
    • Ask my teenage kids to show me funny videos... they have a ton!
    • Coffee with a friend I have not seen in a longtime.
    • Kate McKennon <3
    • Put some whisky in your cup of tea but don't tell people what it is.
    • Watch Bridesmaids, 27 Dresses
    • Massages
    • Michelle Wolf - comedian. (WARNING - Not for everyone!)
    • Bob Newhart; Stop It video
    • Vegetarian night once or twice a week.
    • Watching Carol Burnett and team make each other laugh!
    • Look up! Cloud patterns and night sky stars are calming.
    • Cardio-dance to pop/popular music.
    • Mad lib books
    • The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
    • Put your favorite dance tunes on while washing the dishes.
    • Listen to my husband mocking comedians, watching comedians, movies on YouTube, diving "bomb" mode.
    • Baking cakes and cookies, especially decorated ones that let me be even more creative.
    • John Mulaney’s videos and shows
    • Hiking
    • Singing
    • WIRED Autocomplete Interviews
    • Silly movies like Best In Show and A Mighty Wind.
    • Reading mystery novels - with a cup of tea or a latte.
    • Reading science fiction - with a cup of tea or a latte.
    • I love sending funny gifs and memes, film clips, TikToks, etc. to my friends and family... that are kind of "inside joke" items that are uniquely between us.
    • When we were kids, we played something where we had to guess a color and whoever was the leader chose the color. If you guessed it, the leader would splash you with a thimble of water. Works great for little kids, or you could use a spray bottle with older children/adults.
    • Play tricks on my kids... small jokes to lighten the day.
    • I've been living with cancer for over 20 years: Live Laugh Love is my motto; LIVE every day, every moment; as the saying goes "laughter IS the best medicine"; love life, love yourself and love others around you. Dance!

    What of your own amusements would you add to this list? We’d love to know! You can reach out to us either through our website, Facebook, or LinkedIn. Additionally, to learn more about Jacqueline and her unique healing methods (including laughter therapy), please visit this page.

    We hope you all hold on to your sense of humor in 2021 and never forget to laugh a little… or a lot!


    The mission of the Global Leadership League is to ignite change across the global education field by empowering, connecting, and training leaders. We invite you to reach out to us here or learn more about becoming a member.

  • 04 Jan 2021 7:53 AM | Anonymous

    Organizational Transformation

    For the second part of our Transformative blog series, we decided to take a look beyond the personal transformations that have occurred this past year to the organizations and businesses that have had to pause, pivot, and re-adjust. 

    We asked ourselves, and the volunteers on our board, the following:

    “How are our institutions and organizations experiencing their own transformative processes?”

    Amy Bass Henry is the Executive Director of International Education at the Georgia Institute of Technology and was kind enough to take a few minutes to share with us the transformative processes she is witnessing within her organization. As Executive Director of International Education, Amy helps to run a centralized office that focuses primarily on student-centered global education for a campus of more than 35,000 students. 

    One of the largest shifts within the institution that Amy has observed is the repositioning to hybrid instruction and hybrid work. This shift has transformed their campus, the ways they interact with students and other stakeholders, the ways they support their students, the ways they fulfill their mission, and the ways they connect with and support each other. The impact has been monumental on Georgia Tech and the processes the institution relies on for operation. 

    Yet, as Amy optimistically points out, not all of the impacts have been negative. This transformative process, on a large scale, has worked to deepen their commitment to their mission, and acted as an opportunity for redoubling their educational, research, and service work. Georgia Tech even issued an updated mission statement in May of 2020 (what a great idea!). They shared:

            We are committed to "developing leaders who advance technology and improve the human condition."

    When pressed on the negative impacts that have inevitably influenced her portion of the organization, Amy shares the sense of grief that some of her co-workers in the International Education office have recently expressed. Grief over canceling international mobility programs, grief for the upheaval and disarray the pandemic has caused for international students, and grief for the transformative experiences that many had worked to plan, and many had planned to attend. So much of what they did and how they did it had to change at the drop of a hat, and that can certainly generate feelings of despair. However, their organization has worked to combat these discouraging changes through cross-training and emphasizing non-travel international learning opportunities. We loved what Amy shared about these shifts:

    “Whenever there is a lot of destruction, there is also a surplus of opportunity to do good.”

    We asked Amy about how she thinks the transformative experiences being encountered now will lead to other transformations in the future for her organization. Besides exposing new ways of doing business to meet students’ and stakeholders’ needs, the organization has had to assess the effectiveness of all “new” approaches, and Amy believes this innovation will surely carry forward in their future interactions to help ensure they keep the things that are better serving their students. A few of these new approaches include virtual drop-in advising (in place of the traditional physical reception/waiting room to see an advisor) and online intercultural workshops. Further, she points out, is the plus side that our current state of transformation has created a period of change in which innovation can thrive.

    Leaders in any position are being tested by this pandemic. This means their decisions and leadership style may have had to shift recently. For Amy, the stressors of COVID-19 have helped her to use her “True North” to guide her decision making. She uses the mission, vision, and values of her office to keep her leadership on track. These cornerstones of the larger institution have become even more important to integrate during these times of crisis and/or change. Amy has observed her own personal leadership transformation in how she connects with and supports others in her office. She quips, “New tools and new skills are requisite for this transformation!”.

    For her closing thought, Amy shared with us her recommendation for others in similar positions or those just looking to learn. 

    “Be flexible. Ask yourself every day: how can I be of best service to my organization?”

    The Global Leadership League wants to extend a big Thank You to Amy Bass Henry for her time and shared insights! We are excited to see what opportunities and exchanges will occur in our continued dialogue about our annual theme word, Transformative. Stay tuned for follow-up portions to our Transformative blog series, and we invite all to join in the conversation with us. You can reach out to us either through our website, Facebook, or LinkedIn

    The mission of the Global Leadership League is to ignite change across the global education field by empowering, connecting, and training leaders. We invite you to reach out to us here or learn more about becoming a member.

  • 09 Dec 2020 7:52 AM | Anonymous

    You know that scent where no matter where you are, or how it hits you, it automatically transports you to the holidays?

    Maybe it is the scent of Pine or the smell of a candle with orange and clove. Or, maybe, it is the smell of your family’s cooking! So many of our favorite holiday activities and gatherings focus on the delicious food we get to prepare and share with our dear loved ones.

    Do you have a favorite holiday dish? Is it one that has been passed down from generation to generation or is it one you’ve picked up recently? Either way, lovingly crafted dishes are at the center of all the togetherness for the holidays for so many people. At our recent Global Leadership League Holiday Hoopla, we asked participants to share some of their favorite holiday recipes. Here are a few of the tasty treats that were shared.




    Our League members have access to events like this and so many more. Hone your leadership skills and network with other amazing colleagues in the field through programs such as Career Connections, Chat Box discussion groups, and webinars. Individual memberships are just $35 currently and includes access to all of our GLL resources. Interested? Learn more here.

    The mission of the Global Leadership League is to ignite change across the global education field by empowering, connecting, and training leaders. We invite you to reach out to us here or learn more about becoming a member.

  • 28 Oct 2020 5:53 PM | Anonymous

    What is your community? Where do you find your sense of belonging and purpose? 

    COVID-19 has left many of us seeking out our communities for support and inclusion. From physical communities to the ones we’ve created virtually, the act of contributing to and giving back is now more crucial than ever.  At the Global Leadership League, we are all about supporting our communities and their individuals. Because of this, we want to share a few ideas for giving back to your local community during these times of the pandemic. 

    1.Plant a Garden or a Tree

    This is a great way to physically impact and support your community environment. Get your hands dirty and spend some time planting a tree or garden area outside your home. 

    2.Volunteer at a local Nonprofit

    During these times of COVID lots of nonprofits may have restrictions around direct contact. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t help in other ways! From administrational duties to donation collection, there are lots of ways to safely volunteer for your local charities. Reach out and ask! 

    3.Donate clothing/household items

    Most of us have items around our house that we could stand to part with. Take some time to look through your closet, kitchen, and linens for clean well-kept items that could be donated to local charities. 

    4.Install a Little Free Library OR Pantry

    This one might be for those that are a bit craftier. But, if you have the room, consider creating a Little Free Library with books or a pantry with nonperishable items. Learn more about how to build one here, from the Little Free Library organization. 

    5.Donate Blood

    A quick Google search will pull up the closest blood donation centers for you. We recommend familiarizing yourself ahead of time with their COVID 19 procedures and policies, but this is one of the best ways you can physically support other members of your own community. 

    6.Write Thank You Cards

    Postal workers, firefighters, waste collectors, law enforcement, retail employees- there are SO many individuals that work to keep our communities running successfully and smoothly. A handwritten thank you letter is a great way to let them know that you appreciate them and all they do for their community. 

    7.Community Clean Up

    Whether it is an elderly neighbor’s yard or the park down the street, spend some time picking up the trash, collecting the debris, and all around leaving the space better than when you found it. 

    We are all responsible for contributing to our communities and understanding that improvement starts with us. Because if not you, then who?

    What are other community ideas we missed? Share with us how you choose to give back to your different communities! Reach out on either our Facebook or LinkedIn

    The mission of the Global Leadership League is to ignite change across the global education field by empowering, connecting, and training leaders. We invite you to reach out to us here or learn more about becoming a member.

  • 29 Sep 2020 10:30 AM | Anonymous

    We each walk our own unique life path, as specific to each individual as our own fingerprints. The events that shape our lives are transformative in how they impact us, our choices, and our futures. From happy times, to loss or illness, these experiences weave their narrative in our journey, nudging (or sometimes pushing?) us further on our way.

    The Global Leadership League wants to be part of your journey. We are providing a platform  for global educators to explore and shape the field through open dialogue and skills advancement. As part of this, we have selected the word TRANSFORMATIVE for our 2020-2021 theme. We believe this word represents, and offers, the opportunity for exploration and inquiry into not only our own transformative experiences and impacts, but those also of our families, organizations, communities, and beyond.

    Change is a key element for a transformative experience.  Change can mean different things for different people. We recently asked our League volunteers to describe what the word Transformative means to them. From personal struggles to professional insights for the Global Education industry, our volunteers had plenty to share about their own transformative experiences and what it means for them.

    For many it was about personal growth:

    Learning to let go of the way things were, strengthen, and embrace new ways of thinking and being.

    Using the opportunity to reflect during this time of stillness and non-movement to transform my life from a career and social life I once had in to one that suits me the best.

    Changing and developing my body and mindset and giving up some habits that don't serve me anymore. In international education it means changing and adapting to the world changes/impacts of COVID.

    I am constantly seeking new learning opportunities, stretching my comfort zone, and knowing when to slow down and take a break because we are in the middle of a pandemic! I am leaning into transformation, both by spreading my wings and deepening my roots. And I am learning constantly, and listening, and paying attention.

    Unsurprisingly, as well our professional experiences carry a large amount of transformative energy, both in what has spurred us to be where we are and in what drives us moving forward. Our volunteers shared about their professional thoughts:

    Taking what COVID has thrown at us and using it to transform ourselves, our view of our work, our networks, and our professional outlooks into new, innovative, and previously unthought of directions.

    Having the courage to step outside my comfort zone and grow/learn within my role and outside of my role to be a more well-rounded professional.

    Transformative has been about moving into a new realm of work, the focus has shifted in terms of service provided and product students can engage with. We've had to adapt and get creative really quickly to transform what we offer. Interestingly, a lot of our transformation has been in areas we've considered before but not had the time or space to really focus on, so now we've had to look at the needed change and move that forward rapidly through new vision and inspiration.”

    And, we loved the focus of community in our volunteer’s thoughts:

    Transformative means seizing opportunities to grow and supporting others in seizing their opportunities. It also means doing the emotional and psychological work to make positive meaning out of the many ways our lives have and are changing. Finally, it means supporting those who are suffering from effects of the events of 2020 and from past happenings to keep building the Beloved Community.”

    We are excited to see what opportunities and exchanges will occur in our continued dialogue about our annual theme word Transformative. Stay tuned for the follow-up portions to our Transformative blog series, and we invite all to join in the conversation with us.

    The mission of the Global Leadership League is to ignite change across the global education field by empowering, connecting, and training leaders. We invite you to reach out to us here or learn more about becoming a member.

  • 30 Jul 2020 10:17 AM | Anonymous

    Foreward by Kanette Worlds

    I, too, am America.

    These emphatic four words that conclude the poem I, Too, written by Langston Hughes still resonates with me to this day.

    I discovered Langston’s poetry in high school while working on an English research paper about the Harlem Renaissance. In this particular poem, Hughes declares his right to be considered a full and equal American citizen.

    Written in 1925 in the midst of legal segregation, I understood the message, but it hit differently when I left American soil and moved abroad to Tanzania. It may very well be the only instance in my life that my race and skin color were considered insignificant.

    In sub-Saharan Africa, people mostly concern themselves with nationality or ethnic identity, but less attention is given to race.  So, upon my arrival, I was not a black person, nor an African American – I was just American. Oh, if only this concept were true in America!

    I moved abroad because I was curious about my own ancestry and have a general interest in other cultures. Living among the racial majority for nearly three years was an eye-opening experience. The innate anxiety and fear of prejudice that comes with being a black minority in America subsided and was reduced to simply worrying about how I would navigate a new language.

    I am an advocate for international travel and global education for this very reason. In order to really understand the experience of another person, you have to step outside your comfort zone, your culture, and sometimes your country and be intentional about seeking new experiences and relationships.

    At the core of the Black Lives Matter movement is the demand for acknowledgement. Acknowledgement that slavery, segregation, and systemic racism is real… Acceptance that this reality frequently makes life really difficult for a particular group of people in the United States... and an Understanding that individually and collectively we have the power to erase racial bias and insensitivity.  

    As easy as it might be to make a reservation for dinner at your favorite international restaurant or book a flight to another country – we can do the same thing at home. We can invite our neighbors, co-workers, or the parents of our kid’s friends, who come from different cultural backgrounds, over for dinner (or on Zoom) and have random conversations, enjoy a movie night, or read poetry by Langston Hughes!  

    Cultural diversity is what makes this country beautiful and unique. We, too, are America!

    - Kanette Worlds

    We at the Global Leadership League believe that speaking up and standing tall for the sake of your community, and all of its members, matters. Those who choose to step forward for their communities in the face of challenges, and through the pains of growth, are what make communities such powerful things.

    Below is a list of resources we have compiled from other articles and organizations. These are to help us all explore, listen, and support this important movement. Keep pushing forward for justice. Keep raising awareness and attention for the cause. Keep focusing on a better tomorrow and striving for better communities for all of us.

    Today and every day, Black Lives Matter.

    Resources for Black Lives Matter Allyship and Support:

    Donations

    Donate to organizations and sources that are verified, trustworthy, and contribute to the cause. Here are a handful of options for donations in support of Black Lives Matter that have been vetted.  

    1. 142 Ways to Donate in Support of Black Lives and Communities of Color

    2. Elijah McClain Memorial Fund

    3. George Floyd Memorial Fund

    4. Breonna Taylor Memorial Fund

    5. 20 Social Justice Organizations to Support Right Now

    6. 14 Black Funds and 23 Creative Ecosystems to Support

    Reading Resources

    Take time to suspend your own opinions and just. listen. Below are articles that offer numerous reading options and opportunities.

    1.     Guide to Allyship

    2.     An Essential #BlackLivesMatter Reading List

    3.     Deliberate & Unafraid: A New Book Club Cultivating Fearless, Creative Warriors

    4.     Do The Work: An Anti-Racist Reading List

    5.     From BlackLivesMatter.com Resources and Toolkits

    6.     This resource from FutureLearn offers petitions to sign, a reading list, and films to watch.

    Work Place Actions

    Here are a few articles exploring how companies and organizations can work to foster transparent and supportive workplace environments for all.

    1.     How Businesses Can Show Real Support for Black Lives Matter

    2.     Corporations Say 'Black Lives Matter.' Here's What They Need to Do to Show They Mean It

    3.     Why words aren’t enough from companies claiming to support Black Lives Matter

    BLM Social Media

    Stay in touch with the cause through these social media accounts. Allyship and activism is an everyday thing.

    1.     Black Lives Matter Facebook

    2.     Black Lives Matter Twitter

    3.     Black Lives Matter Instagram

    4.     NAACP Facebook

    5.     NAACP Twitter

    6.     NAACP Instagram

    Lastly, find your local Black Lives Matter chapter here.

    Is there a BLM resource you'd like to see added to this list? Give us a shout either on our social media (Facebook or Twitter) or Contact us here and let us know. 

    The mission of the Global Leadership League is to ignite change across the global education field by empowering, connecting, and training leaders. We invite you to reach out to us here or learn more about becoming a member.

  • 29 Jun 2020 10:00 AM | Anonymous

    PART III

    Welcome back to the next part of our blog series, Aging Parents and International Educators. In this blog series, The Global Leadership League explores the topic of work and family dynamics for international educators with aging parents. We spoke with instructors from around the world for a glimpse into their worlds and families.

    In our prior two segments of the series, we spoke with Lakshmi Iyer of New Delhi, India, and Sarah Spencer of St. Paul, Minnesota, USA. For our third featured international educator, we spoke with Sheila Houston of Australia. See her responses below.

    Shelia Houston

    Director, Cross Cultural Encounters 

    Australia

    How old are your parents and what are their medical issues?

    My mother is 84 with congestive heart failure. My father is 85 and is being treated for cancer.

    Where do you live and where do they live? Where do you travel for work and how often?

    I live in Australia and travel for work mainly in the South Pacific countries. Occasionally, once or twice a year I will travel to the United States. My parents live in Oklahoma in the USA.

    When managing a career in international education and dealing with aging parent, you need a team of helpers. Whether it’s a traditional team, like family, or a nontraditional team like friends and coworkers, who is your team and how do they help you?

    I have many to share:

    • My family support me with empathy and love.
    • My coworkers support and cover for me when I am away unexpectedly.
    • My friends and my parents’ friends who live in the U.S. have been wonderful with keeping me informed of health issues (my parents are not always forthcoming), helping with transportation and food for them as well as supporting me when I am there.
    • My parents’ healthcare workers and doctors have been very good about speaking to me over the phone and understanding the issues of having their only child so far away.

    Do you have a contingency plan, if something happens and you need to attend to your parent?

    The plan has always been to jump on the next flight and work out the details of work, life, and family as I travel. It seems to have worked for me so far. But now, with Coronavirus restrictions on travel in place, I have had to rethink my contingency plan. For the first time in my life I am unable to get to my parent’s aid if they need me.

    Together my parents and I have designated a willing friend to hold a key to their home, and she has agreed to periodically check on them and advise me should there be any issues. My parents have planned and paid for their funerals and burial plots so that the management from afar is less onerous on me. We have also agreed that if either of them should die while I am unable to travel, they will be buried and when I am able to get there, we will have a proper funeral.

    Do you have any tips or advice for others dealing with similar situations? 

    I have been very fortunate to do much of my work remotely, so traveling while continuing with my work has not been a negative issue. My advice for others would be to:

    • Cultivate relationships with your parent's friends and distant relatives. People are wonderful and will do much to help. While my parents are not tech savvy, some of their friends understand technology. We text occasionally, just to stay in touch.
    • Keep the price of an airfare in reserve and be sure to talk to the airlines about what is happening, they are excellent in these type of circumstances.
    • Have the difficult talk about funerals and their desires, early on. When it is looming and their health is deteriorating, it is a much more difficult and emotive conversation.
  • 28 May 2020 10:00 AM | Anonymous
    • For many people right now, the recent spread of the COVID-19 virus has turned their professional work world upside down. People have moved from office settings to at home set ups. Quiet spaces can be hard to find, and many might be feeling the lack of camaraderie or companionship that comes with the workspace structure. In times like this, it can be especially challenging to show up as a leader.

      So, in our current socially-distanced world, how do you practice leadership?

      We recently asked some of our Global Leadership League volunteers and board members to share advice on leadership during these times of transition and uncertainty. Their answers offered great insights and varied just as much as all the individuals that shared them. Here is what they had to say…

      “What is one tip you would share about applying leadership in these times of transition? What is one idea you are utilizing that you think others could benefit from?”


    • 1.  Try to utilize and stay inspired by your organization’s mission when making tough decisions as a leader in this time.


    • 2.  Transparency and vulnerability first – it’s important that your team knows that it is OK to not be OK during these uncertain times and that we are all experiencing discomfort. This opens up lines of comfort and builds strong bonds. Mistakes will happen, things will slip as we have heightened stress, but we will get through it if we are vulnerable and open with each other.

    • Consider Radical Candor by Kim Scott or Dare to Lead by Brene Brown for good leadership books on the topic of vulnerability and transparency.


    • 3.  A simple one perhaps, but important in the current situation. Be grateful. Our teams are working hard – often sacrificing sleep or juggling family – to meet work expectations.  This is a new norm and a simple, kind gesture of appreciation can make all the difference.


    • 4.     Slow down! I see so many people rushing to 'prove' that they are still working as hard, or even harder than ever before. Mistakes and knee-jerk reactions are not what is needed now, but rather cool, calm, collected and informed decision making.


    • 5.     Remember to focus on values as the driver of decision-making. I try to let go of what I thought I would be working on and instead ask myself every day what is most important for me to work on that will support my organization, my team, and our stakeholders.

    • I re-read this poem regularly: 

    • There is no controlling life.

    • Try corralling a lightning bolt,

    • containing a tornado.  Dam a

    • stream and it will create a new

    • channel.  Resist, and the tide

    • will sweep you off your feet.

    • Allow, and grace will carry

    • you to higher ground.  The only

    • safety lies in letting it all in –

    • the wild and the weak; fear,

    • fantasies, failures and success.

    • When loss rips off the doors of

    • the heart, or sadness veils your

    • vision with despair, practice

    • becomes simply bearing the truth.

    • In the choice to let go of your

    • known way of being, the whole

    • world is revealed to your new eyes.

    • ~ Danna Faulds


    • 6.     “Grace" is my new norm and I am applying grace in the following ways:  1) If someone doesn't answer me right away or in a timely fashion my usual assumption is "What are they doing don't they know this is important!" But now I am saying "Okay, they have family to deal with and are most likely waiting until they can get a quiet moment for a thoughtful reply vs something from their phone."  This has proven to be true. 2) I work even harder to set mutually acceptable deadlines and really ask myself "Is it that urgent or am I just thinking it is urgent?" before I hold someone to a task.  They have a lot to contend with including spotty internet so it may take more time. 3) Finally, I am applying grace when I see them on Zoom and they don't look happy or excited.  Life is draining right now and endless zoom meetings are as boring and complicated as endless meetings in an office.  I always try to start with a meme, joke, or get everyone to share something and then people loosen up.  I know they cannot always be thrilled with their life and the work in this new environment. That’s my word of the month - GRACE.


    • 7.     The most effective approach I am taking is understanding colleagues with childcare / elder parents, or households that are challenging for working from home. Knowing my colleagues and the teams I work with, we have been very flexible about work schedules- not setting any deadlines that are unrealistic and asking each other to work around our availability. Flexibility has been key. For example, it is 9:40 pm where I live and I am starting my work day as I just put my son to sleep. Leadership has to be about understanding every individual's personal challenges right now and being fully aware of their home lives and providing as much support around this as possible.


    • 8.     I am watching my partner’s team “guess” at what their leader is “implying” but seems unwilling to put in writing. It is causing stress, phone calls, text messages, etc., all filled with misinformation and hearsay. Strong leadership is absent in this situation. In an alternative scenario, there would be an outline of expectations complete with steps on how to complete the tasks, etc. This may not feel like leadership, but in times of crisis – and this is a crisis – leaders must also be strong managers.


    If you are interested in learning about different leadership opportunities, communities, and conversations, consider joining the Global Leadership League now for a special discounted price.* Learn more here about joining The League. Additionally, our League volunteers are the lifeblood of this organization and we couldn’t do it without them. If you are interested in volunteering with The League, learn more here.

    The mission of the Global Leadership League is to ignite change across the global education field by empowering, connecting, and training leaders. We invite you to reach out to us here or learn more about becoming a member.

    *50% off all memberships, both individual and group. This is a limited time offer, good through April, 2021.

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INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION

Our members come from different backgrounds, abilities, levels of experience, and parts of the world. Our goal is to embrace this diversity and encourage relationships across generations and experience levels for the benefit of all involved. 

The Global Leadership League was started by a group of women in the field of international education for the purposes of advancing women’s leadership skills, knowledge, and connections.

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