Blog (filtered)

Being a leader takes practice. We’re excited to share our latest experiments and lessons learned.

Carolyn Cullen
Friday, September 16, 2016

On Wednesday night, we hosted a reception at The Fralin for the newest executives who have joined UVA, plus Deans and Vice Presidents. We were lucky enough to see the Andy Warhol exhibit that night (it closes September 18th - so hurry before it’s too late!) and three things became clear by the end of the evening: we have very smart and talented employees at UVA; these employees are doing tremendous work that’s making a difference for our students; and creativity and innovation are all around us here at UVA.

I know we all know these three things, but how often do we actually take time to reflect and appreciate them? Time is a precious commodity, and sometimes it’s hard to find the time to explore what’s in our own backyard. But just as Andy Warhol impacted pop art, these newest executives are already impacting UVA.

I met folks from all areas of the University who bring dynamism, a different perspective, and big ideas to their roles every day. A few minutes were just enough to pique my curiosity about my own contributions. When was the last time I pushed the boundaries of my own thinking, let alone the impact of my role? That’s what Warhol did. He pushed the boundaries of pop art by taking iconic images and reimagining them. At the time, it was very cutting-edge, and it continues to be so today.

We know we already have the best of the best working at UVA, and these newest hires are reinforcing that standard. We impact our students – even if we don’t work with them directly – by the work of those who have taken great care of this institution over the last nearly 200 years. We are charged with preserving a tremendous legacy while at the same time advancing that legacy for the next 200 years.

What will your legacy at UVA be? Do we even think of our jobs in these terms? If not, should we?