Dr. Kim Burns

Plan tight & hang loose

higher ed adminstrators planning

My colleague and thought partner Kelly Josephson uses this phrase to describe her approach to planning. When we co-facilitate meetings and planning sessions, it’s how we operate because we plan the event in excruciating detail, which then allows us to pivot if needed. It’s not intuitive that planning tightly provides us with freedom and flexibility, […]

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

questions in higher ed consulting

This question is from the last line of the poem The Summer Day by Mary Oliver. The poem was the favorite of a colleague and mentor whose life was cut too short by cancer. It soon became one of my favorite poems, too, for it beautifully captures life’s wonders. I have some news I have […]

Champagne on Mondays

a toast to higher ed administrators

Monday by Alex Dimitrov Doesn’t it bother you sometimeswhat living is, what the day has turned into?So many screens and meetingsand things to be late for. Everyone truly deservesa flute of champagnefor having made it this far!Though it’s such a disasterto drink on a Monday. I posted this poem to my Instagram story earlier this […]

Secrets to 25 Years of Marriage

life decision coaches in higher ed

We are back from our annual family vacation at Cape Cod (“The Cape” for us locals), and while we were there my husband and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. We celebrated at The Ocean House where we enjoyed an outdoor dinner overlooking the ocean. While we were there, we brainstormed our secrets to a […]

Why I Keep a Commonplace Book

coaching books for higher ed admin

I have a terrible memory. I envy people who read a book and can relay the author’s ideas or the plot years later. I just don’t have those brain cells available to me. Hence, the commonplace book. I do remember (ha!), reading Steven Johnson’s Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation, and […]

Pandemic Reflection

a higher ed candle in pandemic

It’s been a year. As I wrote in a post last year, I stood in the doorway to my office and I knew in my bones that it would be a long time until I would return. Here I am, writing this from home where I currently spend most of my time. As we recognize […]

Doomscrolling Diet

LinkedIn logo on phone

I consume most of my social media on my phone. I check Facebook occasionally to catch up on the posts of family and friends. I follow numerous dogs on Instagram. Twitter is where I doomscroll. I follow mostly politicians, policy wonks, educators, and news sites on Twitter. On good days, the tweets are inspiring, insightful, […]

Grace Over Guilt

a higher ed admin consultant's sign post

At the end of each month, I use my PowerSheets to reflect on my goals and plan the upcoming four weeks. The monthly review includes the prompt, “I am choosing grace over guilt about . . . ” I’ve always associated the word grace with religion and it normally would not be a part of […]

Five-Year Journal

Journals for higher ed leadership admin

Have you ever discovered something and then you see it everywhere? That’s what happened when I learned about the five-year journal. I heard Katie Linder mention it in one of her podcasts and then I heard about it in other podcasts and articles. How can it be that it took me this long to discover […]

Reflection and Planning Tools For Higher Education Leaders

reflecting on past academic year in higher ed

Reflection Tools For Higher Ed Leaders Anyone who has spent a New Year’s Eve with me knows I enjoy reflecting on the past year. I (gently) nudge whoever I’m with to fill out a homemade worksheet with prompts about the past year. When the boys were little, the prompts included favorites like snacks, toys, games, […]