EXCERPTS FROM MATT DAVIDSON'S LETTER (PRESIDENT OF IEE) ABOUT THE PROCESS OF DEVELOPING "INSIDE THE L"
MATTHEW L. DAVIDSON, PH.D.
PRESIDENT OF INSTITUTE FOR EXCELLENCE AND ETHICS (IEE)
“In August of 2013 I joined the athletics department family at Le Moyne College (LCA) in my role as President of the Institute for Excellence & Ethics (IEE) to assist them along a journey initiated a few years before. The journey was founded on a desire to explore more deeply what it was that made (or could more fully make) the experience of Le Moyne student-athletes unique, powerful, and transformative. In my own words, we sought to understand the “Secret Ingredient” inside the Le Moyne College Athletics experience. By mission, the athletic department aspires to be a “nationally premier Division II athletic department in the Jesuit tradition.” I understood this to mean: student and athlete, nationally premier in the classroom and in athletic competition, AND rooted in the Catholic Jesuit tradition – not a class you studied while at Le Moyne as a student-athlete, but a Jesuit way of being a student-athlete.
Over the course of the 2013 Fall semester we spent time utilizing the IEE’s Intentional Culture Conversation process to identify the drivers and preventers of the LCA mission and vision. Those conversations produced a blueprint for things to start, stop, continue and/or improve within the department. We looked for alignment across and within stakeholder groups for things that could best enhance the mission, including policies, practices, procedures, and facilities. We knew that certain changes would take place over time, but that some changes could and should take place immediately.
Here’s the process that ensued. For each of the topics identified (What does it mean to be premier and Jesuit? What does it mean to care for whole-person development – mind, body, and spirit – and to aspire for excellence? What does it mean to be a teammate, a leader, an individual committed to the collective good?), Matt Bassett and I would meet and discuss some of our big ideas, some essential issues and angles that we believed should be included for consideration. I would then go and take a crack at creating what we call at IEE Excellence and Ethics Learning Modules. These reflections were designed to integrate the religious, philosophical, cultural and psychological underpinnings of the topic – but to do so with the intent of accessibility for coaches coaching in the real-world of college athletics.
From January through May monthly – and often bi-monthly – we assembled a group of coaches and administrators early in the morning for a dialogue about the content presented.
From the reflections and conversations we simultaneously harvested and worked on the creation of three separate but related deliverables:
1. A set of optimal performance indicators and practices
2. A customized Inside the L Culture of Excellence and Ethics Assessment survey
3. An Inside The L Touchstone
These topics will continue to be translated into more and different forms to enhance the department’s ongoing education and communication efforts. Thus, we hope these will be the beginning of a long and fruitful process of action and reflection in the quest to realize the vision around which we collectively united ourselves.”
SNEAK PEEK OF THE LEADERSHIP GUIDE
MAGIS: EXCELLENCE WITH INTEGRITY