Blog (filtered)

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

Samantha Campbell
Friday, July 14, 2017

Recently, I attended a motivational talk with guest speaker, Chic Thompson. He spoke about how people often respond to a new idea with “Yes, but...” We tend to think of all the reasons why an idea will not work. That ‘but’ stops the thought process. Instead, Chic says we should try responding with “Yes, and…” This phrase invites the speaker to keep going, which accelerates possibilities and allows a dialogue.

I have found this idea of stopping at ‘but’ to be quite true, and something that I have done with my own ideas a lot.  For example, I will come up with an invention in my head and get super excited and feel ready to go on Shark Tank right away!  But then my mind says, “but….”  This is mostly because I would fear the legal aspect, budget limitations, or possibly just being overwhelmed with the process and not knowing where to start.

Instead, I want to try the ‘Yes, and’ method. Instead of thinking about all the things that could go wrong, I’ll explore all the things that could go right. I challenge you to try it too. Even if you don’t have an idea for a new invention, try it out on a work related challenge. Like Chic said, “Be curious first, critical second!” Change your mindset to encourage creativity, and see if you can overcome the obstacle by responding with “yes, and...” You might be surprised at the results!

Samantha Campbell
Friday, June 2, 2017

Q: What song would you sing at karaoke night?
A: Save Tonight by Eagle-Eye Cherry.

Q: What does leadership mean to you? 
A: To me, leadership means responsibility. It means having the ability to listen, inspire, empower, and encourage others.

Q: Your favorite place to eat in Charlottesville?
A:  Bodo’s.

Q: What is your proudest/greatest achievement outside of the professional realm?
A: Learning to listen to my inner voice, my amazing little daughter, and moving to Hawaii on my own to pursue my education.

Q: What are three things you love about UVA?
A: The sense of community, the architecture, and the gorgeous gardens.

Q: Do you collect anything?
A: Basically anything awesome from Goodwill.

Q: Why did you choose your profession?  
A: Graphic design gave me the opportunity to share my artsy, creative side with others. It was something that I was always interested in, and it came somewhat naturally for me.

Q: What are you usually doing on the weekend or during time off?
A: Making jewelry, doing photography sessions, gardening, and most of all, spending time with my husband and 2 year-old daughter.

Q: What is the best advice anyone ever gave you?
A: My mom has always been supportive of me. From the day I could hold a crayon, she encouraged me to do what I love, no matter what. She would always tell me: Look at the birds of the air- they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them…Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. She helped me to understand that it’s better to live a life full of doing what you love then to do what everyone thinks or tells you to do. When you live a happy life, everything else is taken care of.

Q: What about you would surprise us?
A: I was dance club president in college and loved performing in front of large crowds- just don’t ask me to do any public speaking!

Samantha Campbell
Friday, April 21, 2017

I recently watched a video that was part of the Supersoul Session series. It featured psychologist Shawn Achor, who talks about the science of happiness and the issue with the current formula for happiness and success. I was immediately interested in the topic, and pleasantly surprised with his quick sense of humor. (Although, I suppose someone who specializes in the science of happiness would naturally be funny!)

You may be familiar with this formula: “work harder = become successful = be happier.” It has been instilled in many people from a young age. Lately, I’ve been having an internal conflict with this way of thinking. Why do we need to work harder in order to be successful? Why does happiness need to be so hard to obtain? Now, I’m not saying that working hard isn’t a good thing. I worked hard to buy my first home, to raise my daughter (especially through the continuous and everlasting sleepless nights), to be good at my job, and to be a good person, but is that the only way to achieve happiness?

I started thinking: how is my life different when I’m happy? When I’m happy, I believe I’m enjoyable to be around. I’m much more inspired, creative, and productive, and things often come to fruition more easily. What would life look like if we followed our bliss and put happiness first? It would be a revolution of humanity as we know it, and I believe it’s starting now. We are stretching, pushing, creating, and growing our minds, and we’re changing how we function in this world. This stems from the urge to pursue greater happiness. It is bubbling at the surface, waiting to overflow from the cast iron pot we live in.

It’s a positive way of mind, and it’s extremely contagious. I love the “experiment” Achor did during his talk, where he speaks of mirror neurons and how easy it is to spread happiness to others. I’m interested in trying his 21 day challenge: every day, for 21 days, write down three things you’re grateful for and see what positive differences occur in your life. I’m going to give it a try! Will you? Watch the video.

Samantha Campbell 
Friday, December 16, 2016

I recently attended the Exceptional Assistant Network (EAN) graduation ceremony where UVA’s Assistant Vice President of Human Resources, Bryan Garey spoke. He talked about Zig Zigler and the power of owning your choice. So I started thinking…

 “You have a choice.” Powerful words to live by. No matter what, you always have a choice. You can choose to be happy, and you can also choose to be unhappy. The situation doesn’t control you. You create the situation based on how you choose to deal with it.

Doesn’t that make you feel empowered? To live a life knowing you are in control. We all know those times when life throws you a few curve balls. It can be difficult to see through to the other side, but you will get there one way or another, so why not choose to be happy - or kind, or thankful?

Often, I hear people talk about all the things they don’t have and how different their lives would be if they only had those things. Well guess what? You are in control of your life. The grass is always greener - until you realize that you have the best soil on the street, right in your own yard. You already have the tools to live that amazing life you talk about.

First things first, be thankful for the wonderful things you do have – a warm place to lay your head at night, a refrigerator with food in it, a job that pays you money so you can support yourself and your family. All of these things are good. When the first negative thing happens - you get a flat tire, a bill you weren’t expecting, you get sick - the next moments define your future. In fifteen years, will you remember these inconveniences? If you choose to be unhappy and miserable, will it make the situation better? Most likely, it will not. What if you choose to be thankful, or grateful, that maybe that flat tire kept you from getting into a bad accident, or that extra bill will help you get out of debt faster, or when you got sick that your body needed time to rest (and catch up on your favorite TV show!) and heal so you can be 100% in the present?

Take a look at this graphic I found, comprised of results from more than 40 research studies on gratitude. Pretty interesting!

Of course everyone’s life might be “better” with a million dollars, but if you only concentrate on the things you don’t have by saying how much better your life would be with them, then you will miss out on all of the things you do have. You might not realize the power and life-changing energy you contain within yourself, and it’s so simple. It’s also free. It’s the power of choice; the positive power of good, and we all have it.

So how will you choose to feel today? Tomorrow? Next week? It feels good to feel good!