The Peak Performing Professor: A Practical Guide to Productivity and Happiness
October 2013, Jossey-Bass
Drawing on research from the fields of neuroscience, faculty development, work productivity, positive psychology, and resilience, The Peak Performing Professor is filled with techniques, strategies, and practical tools for managing the complexities of academic life while maximizing professional potential. This much-needed resource reveals the four skill sets (PACE) that enhance peak performance and shows faculty step-by-step how to:
- Power their work and lives with purpose and meaning.
- Align all of their activities with that purpose.
- Connect with mutually helpful colleagues and intimates.
- Energize themselves to thrive in this interesting and engaging career.
To help develop these essential skills, the book contains exercises that can help faculty hone their abilities to anchor their work, roles, and use of time in their most deeply held values; to integrate their personal and professional lives into a seamless whole; to experience more work-life balance; and, ultimately, to create a legacy of a life well-lived. Administrators will also find the book a useful tool for guiding their faculty to produce, stay engaged, and experience job satisfaction.
"The first time I saw Susan present her Pyramid of Power model, I knew I needed to learn more. This book provides both the ideas and the practical advice that can help faculty and faculty developers make our lives more effective and more livable." L. Dee Fink, author of Creating Significant Learning Experiences
"An amazing bookessential reading for every faculty member. The integration of sound scholarship and practical advice is extraordinary. This book will power faculty workshops and faculty lives!" Barbara Walvoord, professor emerita, University of Notre Dame; author of Effective Grading
About the Author vii
1 Practices of Peak Performing Professors 1
PART 1 POWER YOUR WORK AND YOUR LIFE WITH PURPOSE 19
2 Your Ideal Life 21
3 Your Purpose 31
4 Your Mission 41
5 Your Vision and Goals 51
6 The Dream Book 65
PART 2 ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH YOUR POWER 73
7 Establish Priorities 77
8 Align Projects with Priorities 83
9 Organize Projects 91
10 Align Resources 107
11 Align Your Work Habits for Success 123
PART 3 CONNECT WITH MUTUALLY SUPPORTIVE PEOPLE 133
12 Engage Others: Meeting and Greeting 137
13 Collaborate for Mutual Benefit 153
14 Negotiate Mutual Needs: Solve Problems and Manage Conflict 167
PART 4 ENERGIZE YOURSELF FOR A LONG AND HAPPY CAREER AND LIFE 177
15 Wellness 181
16 Well-Being 197
PART 5 PACE YOUR ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES 217
17 The Professor 219
18 The Teacher 225
19 The Scholar 243
20 The Servant Leader 255
21 Life Roles 265
A former professor of psychology and department chair at the Notre Dame of Maryland University, Susan Robison provides faculty development workshops and productivity coaching at higher education conferences and on college campuses.
As faculty become accustomed to doing more with less, they must learn to work faster, more effectively, and with more measurable results. However, the top three stressors for faculty are factors over which the individual has a great deal of control and which are caused mainly by personal perceptions or lack of ability to set and carry out goals.
THE PEAK PERFORMING PROFESSOR: A Practical Guide to Productivity and Happiness (Jossey-Bass, a Wiley brand; October 2013; $40; Paper; ISBN: 978-1-118-10514-6) is grounded in research on neuroscience, faculty development, work productivity, positive psychology, and resilience. The techniques and strategies in this faculty development guide go beyond a discussion of work-life balance and teaching tips to offer practical tools for managing the life of the professor while maximizing his or her potential. Faculty members who complete THE PEAK PERFORMING PROFESSOR’s exercises will be able to anchor their work, roles, and use of time in their most deeply held values, to integrate their personal and professional lives into a seamless garment, and to create a legacy of a life well-lived.
THE PEAK PERFORMING PROFESSOR is organized into four main skill sets that enhance peak performance: how to energize and motivate with purpose and meaning; how to align your resources such as activities, time, money, and energy with purpose and meaning; how to connect with mutually helpful colleagues and intimates; and how to flourish by broadening and building resilience for the long haul of an academic career.
THE PEAK PERFORMING PROFESSOR also helps administrators who want their faculty to produce, stay engaged, and experience job satisfaction; who aim to decrease numbers of “problem people” who complain about stress spillover from home to work and vice versa; and who recognize that faculty with low engagement cost their institutions directly with lowered productivity and health care expenses for stress-related disorders and indirectly with rehiring costs entailed when faculty leave after failing to meet tenure requirements.