When I started writing this weeks ago, I led with the idea of change. After all, undertaking this editing role represents a change for me. But now that a pandemic change overtakes my daily job duties and much of my brainpower outside work, I spend most days managing change. Any more thoughts on change threaten to overwhelm me.
Several years ago when I started in court administration, my team represented a change to how language access would be provided in some courts. During initial meetings with judges and court staff, it was almost like I was spewing obscenities whenever I uttered the word change. I learned that leading with change got me nowhere. I had to lead with gratitude. So, I acknowledged the hard work courts had undertaken to coordinate language access services before anyone thought to change anything. Grateful to inherit the valuable groundwork courts already had laid, I sought only to replicate the system they had in place. I committed to no changes at all until they were collaborated on with courts and piloted before made permanent. Changes did happen, but that wouldn’t have been possible had I not learned to pay my respects first.
As things change now, I choose to lead with gratitude. I am grateful to Tasha Ruth for her energy, professionalism, and dedication while working on the Court Manager. I am grateful to the NACM Board for giving me the chance to contribute in this meaningful way. I am grateful to the writers who have entrusted me with their words. I am grateful to NACM which soon celebrates 35 years of sharing information and support among court administrators working through change. I am grateful to the Institute for Court Management, which this year celebrates the 50th anniversary of professionalizing the field of court management in providing tools and resources so someone like me can learn to manage change.
I look forward to hearing your stories and getting to share them. For future issues, I hope writers will contribute reflections on NACM and ICM at these important milestones. I am particularly eager to read something retrospective expressing gratitude for the opportunities change can represent.
With best wishes for your good health,