Reflective Journey Day 1- Let’s start at the very beginning…

As Maria famously sang in The Sound of Music, “Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start. When you read you begin with a…b…c… When you sing you begin with do…re…mi.” Leadership is not really that different. Maria might have sang, “When you lead you, you begin with me…me…me.” For us at the Veterinary Leadership Institute, leading well is all about self-awareness, so this first day of reflection (and all the rest of them, actually) will start at the very beginning- learning how to better understand yourself.

Since it is the start of a new year, many of us are thinking about our new year’s resolutions and all the things we are hoping to accomplish in 2020. Perhaps you want to implement new habits that will lead to better physical health, like eating more vegies or exercising regularly. Or, maybe you are thinking about changing jobs or starting a new hobby. It’s possible that you haven’t even thought about a single new year’s resolution (that’s ok, too). We wonder, though, if the start of the year might be a great time to dig a little deeper than just traditional new year goal setting. After all, that’s how we roll at the Veterinary Leadership Institute. We love to get below the surface of our busy lives in order to give ourselves the opportunity to do the hard work that will help us thrive. (Hint: remember our holiday story– “It begins with reflection and a community of friends. It’s an incredible skill set that transforms and transcends.”)

It is easy to write down some goals so we can check the new year self-improvement box and get on with our busy vet med life. However, if we want to know ourselves better so we can lead well in the new year, we have to take at least a few minutes to step off the treadmill and think about who we are and what we bring to the table. In order to practice that skill of reflection, let’s consider 2019 and what went well so we can use that knowledge to help us be successful in 2020.

-Find a quiet place where you can be alone with your thoughts and one of these handy worksheets.

-Spend at least 5 minutes thinking about the past year and recall as many positive situations you were a part of as possible. Write them down. Give yourself the freedom to write down anything that causes you to feel positively, no matter how big or small. Depending on how the year has gone, you might have lots of things to write down or not so many so be kind to yourself as you think about the positive.

-Choose one of the scenarios you have written down and write it in the bubble and then answer the following questions about that scenario…

  1. What strengths do I notice in myself as a result of this situation?
  2. What role did I play in allowing this situation to come to pass?
  3. What role did others play in allowing this situation to come to pass?
  4. What was challenging about this situation and how did I overcome those challenges?
  5. Identify the thoughts and actions that led to this positive situation.
  6. Identify the thoughts and actions that made arriving at a positive outcome more difficult.

-Write a summary sentence or two about what you learned about yourself in remembering this positive situation and how you can use that knowledge to help you be successful in any new year’s resolutions you have for 2020.

The research tells us that one of the best ways for us to improve on future performance is to reflect on and better understand how we handled situations in the past so we can continue the things that helped us and modify or eliminate the behaviors that were detrimental to our success. The exercise you just completed was a way for you to begin to develop the skill of doing just that- great job!! The more you practice this skill set, the easier it becomes, but it starts with you understanding you. Take what you just learned about yourself and apply it to your goals and dreams for 2020. Don’t forget to come back tomorrow as we give you another opportunity to reflect and learn.

VLE 2018 Packing List

Hello VLE Participants!

We hope you are all getting excited for the 2018 Veterinary Leadership Experience (#VLE2018)! We’ve been creating some buzz about the upcoming event, posting little samples of what you may expect and some experiences from past participants. We hope you’ve enjoyed them. Now we’d like to share some thoughts on WHAT TO BRING, and hope this will help you prepare for your trip.

The Practical

  • Weather gear: Weather in Post Falls, Idaho can be unpredictable this time of year. Prepare for rain or shine, unexpected pop up showers, and for both cool and warm weather. Consider packing clothes you may wear in layers. We suggest a rain jacket, sweatshirt or fleece, and a hat for the sun.
  • Sturdy footwear: We are outside walking and moving a lot. Feel free to pack your sandals for free time, but for many activities you’ll be required to have sturdy and solid footwear.
  • Comfy clothes: The days are filled with activities both indoors and outdoors. Make sure you pack comfortable clothes. Of course elastic waistbands have the added benefit of providing you comfort room as you enjoy the terrific food.
  • Active wear: Bring your favorite running shoes, swimsuit, and/or workout clothes. There’s always someone taking a morning run, doing Crossfit, Yoga, or swimming (weather permitting).
  • Sundries: Pack some bug spray and sunscreen along with your toiletry products. You may also like a small flashlight for moving through camp after dark.
  • Comforts of home: Student participants should bring a bath towel and sleeping bag (or twin sized bedding).

The Personal

  • Me-time: Bring an item to help you relax, recharge, and reflect after a long day, such as a good book to read, writing journal, or sketch pad.
  • Mindset: Bring an open mind and willingness to learn. Remember, this experience will be what you make of it. Participate, engage, ask, listen, and stretch yourself. You may gain new perspective or a new friend.
  • Share: We’d love for you to share your pictures, videos, and thoughts on Facebook or InstaGram @veterinaryleadershipinstitute using #vle2018. There will also be additional opportunities to join groups and stay connected after the event.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask – if you’ve forgotten something we will do our absolute best to help.

Travel safely, folks! We look forward to seeing you next week at #VLE2018.

VLE Alumni Reunion at AVMA Convention 2016

The stars at night are big and bright……..deep in the heart of Texas!

Everything’s bigger and better in Texas…so they say!
So, join a Texas-sized bunch of fun at the 2016 AVMA VLE Alumni Reunion!
Put on your boots and mosey on down to enjoy some good eats and conversation with your fellow VLE alumni! Let us know what you’ve been up to and where your boots are taking you next!

When: Monday, August 8 from 6-9 pm
Guadalajara Grill
301 S. Alamo
San Antonio, TX 78205
(210) 222-1992

There will be a cash bar and hors d’oeuvres.

VLE Packing List

Hello VLE Participants!

We hope you are all getting excited for the 2016 Veterinary Leadership Experience (#VLE2016)! We’ve been creating some buzz about the upcoming event, posting little samples of what you may expect. We’ve had fun sharing these teasers with you, and we hope you’ve enjoyed them. Now we’d like to share some thoughts on WHAT TO BRING, and hope this will help you prepare for your trip.

Continue Reading

Fun on the Field

One of the foundational premises of the activity night called Fun on the Field is “It is OK to play”. In fact, it is downright healthy.  And here is a little data for all you scientists to support my assertion.

Socio-emotional areas:

  • Expressing more confidence (Ginsburg, 2007; Gray, 2011)
  • Developing conflict-resolution skills (Gray, 2011)
  • Cultivating social skills such as flexibil­ity, empathy, and the ability to be aware of one’s self (Burdette &Whitaker, 2005; Ginsburg, 2007; Gray, 2011)

Cognitive areas:

  • Increasing problem-solving capabili­ties (Kleiber & Barnett-Morris, 1993; Burdette & Whitaker, 2005; Ginsburg, 2007; Gray, 2011)
  • Deepening critical-thinking skills (Hurwitz, 2002)
  • Increasing curiosity (Burdette & Whitaker, 2005; Ginsburg, 2007)

Continue Reading

Are you Ready for a Cruise?

Have you thought about the things you are going to do during VLE2016?  If you’re an alum, have you thought about some of the fun things you did while at Ross Point? Here’s a video with Dr. Jen Quammen to introduce you to the cruise event at the Veterinary Leadership Experience.

Tell us what you think in the comments below. Share this with friends and remember to use #VLE2016 or #VLEalum

Are you ready for VLE 2016?

The 2016 Veterinary Leadership Experience is just over a month away … we want to give this year’s participants a taste of “what to expect” as well as a reminder to our alumni about some of the fantastic things you will see and do at Ross Point.

In the coming weeks you will see posts about some of the fun, and educational, events that you can participate in during VLE. Our intention is to make these posts short, entertaining and informative. If you are an alumnus, let us know if these posts sparked any nostalgia for you. If you are new to the VLE scene, let us know if you have specific topics/questions you’d like to hear more about. How can we serve you and make your experience more complete?

If you are posting about VLE on social media, please use #VLE2016 for this year’s event and #VLEalum for any previous events.  You can learn more the Veterinary Leadership Institute here as well as on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

What questions do you have about VLE? What memories would you like to share?