The Lens of Ambition

in Executive Board

By Carey Unger, Nu Omicron (Vanderbilt U), International Vice President

Carey Unger, Nu Omicron (Vanderbilt U), International Vice President

As I sit down to write my first In the Loop article for this biennium, I am filled with anticipation and excitement knowing that in a few short days, I will be traveling to Nashville for our first in-person Executive Board meeting of the year. I look forward to celebrating the Grand Opening of our beautiful new Archives Museum, I am excited to hear updates from Kaya about all the great work that our Fraternity staff is accomplishing in partnership with our volunteers, and I can’t wait to share big hugs with my fellow Board members (especially since the last time I saw them I broke my foot in their presence!)

To add the proverbial cherry to the top of all of that sweetness, our Governance and Board Development Committee will be kicking off our new Board Development plan for the biennium during our meeting, and I couldn’t be more excited about what is to come. For the next two years, we will be doing a deep dive once a quarter into each of the Ends. We will spend time reading articles and books, watching Ted talks, and engaging in intentional conversations to not only grow our knowledge of each End, but also challenge each other to reflect on how we use each End in our Board roles.  All of our work, and the work of our Fraternity, should be done with our Ends in mind, and this educational series will better equip us for that work.

The first End that we are kicking off in September is Ambition, and I can’t wait to see what we all learn. When I think of which End resonates the most with me, personally and professionally, Ambition is right up there. One of my core values is the belief that we should always be growing. Ambition isn’t necessarily about climbing your way to the top. It doesn’t have to be synonymous with power. For me, ambition is defined as growth, engagement and advancement. 

I am a big believer in making tomorrow better than today. How do we keep moving forward? How do we iterate to keep our cycles of improvement flowing? What is an impact we can have tomorrow that we weren’t able to have today? I challenge you all to look at your life through the lens of ambition. What are small tests of change that we can make to better ourselves, our communities, and the world around us? What can we do to make today brighter than yesterday? How can we encourage others to have the confidence to be the best versions of themselves as well? We need to be our own cheerleaders, as well as the cheerleaders of those next to us, when it comes to advancing forward, however that looks like for each of us. So straighten that crown and reach over and straighten the crown of your sister beside you, too.

As we meet this weekend in Brentwood to advance the work of our Fraternity, may we always remember our End of Ambition and our goals of being the best AOII we can be.


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