45 Days into My Adventure

I have been here for 45 days in my new adventure as the Director of Information Technology at the American University of Sharjah (AUS). I still wake up and wonder where I am some mornings. I am so fortunate to live in a time of the Internet, Facebook and particularly Skype.

I seriously underestimated the emotional impact of leaving my family behind in Vancouver to come to the United Arab Emirates. There are times when I am so homesick … and then I fire up Skype and can see and talk to my wife and kids.  I had a great visit from my wife over the past 2 weeks  We timed it to match the Eid Al Adha celebrations here in Sharjah.  AUS shutdown university operations for a week and we both explored the Northern Emirates by car.  If you are friends with me on Facebook, you can see the pictures here.

The people at AUS have been very welcoming, especially my new IT team. I know there are high expectations of what we can do together and I will do my best to work towards those goals. Two weeks ago, I held my first department meeting. I presented my approach to leadership (see my post: Reflecting on Management) and then had each team present for 10 minutes each about the work they do. We wrapped up with some future directions and my first organizational change in the department’s supervisory structure.

I will be introducing the role of Team Leaders to the existing flat organizational structure.  I will write about this role soon.

Thanks for following my updates and I can tell you the messages you send via Twitter, Facebook and comments here really help me feel like I have a great group of people supporting me.  I am not alone!  Thank you so very much!