Which of these pictures best describes a leader you know? Which one describes a leader you are? Which one describes a leader you want to be?
I have recently had to examine my weaknesses and strengths, as well as define my leadership style. This has not been an easy reflection, but it has been a powerful one.
I was asked the other day "Do you realize that you have areas in which you need to grow?" My humble answer; "Of course, everyone has areas of growth." Response "Do you really believe that?" ...."Yes". In my head, I am checking off my mental list of weaknesses. Check, check, yes I need to work on that, I know I struggle with that, check, check, check....I left that conversation really down on myself. What am I doing? Who do I think I am? I can't be a leader, I have so many things to work on. Yada...yada..yada.
Ok. Here is where I make the choice...do I go down this rabbit hole? I choose NO, because it does no good. Instead, I choose to dig myself out and use that as a foundation in which to build. I chose to take this time to reflect on some strengths; I've got to have some. Time to think about what attributes I CAN bring to the table as a leader. Instead of falling down that hole, I dig myself out and build myself back up.
What kind of leader would I be? Could I be? I would be the kind of leader that builds relationships first. These are formed through trust and communication. I will be the kind of leader that recognizes that everyone is different, and through relationship building, I will get to know what makes people tick. I will work to enhance people's strengths and help them grow in their weakness. I will be the kind of leader who is approachable and helpful. I care deeply about people and want everyone to be at their best. I would be the kind of leader that asks and responds to input. I will create a shared vision and ensure my team that we are all on the journey together.
I would be the kind of leader who is in a constant state of learning and will share my learning, freely and often. I will encourage and support my team to do the same. I will encourage the people I work with and lift them up. I would encourage them to lift up and support each other. I will build capacity within my team. I will find that spark, that one thing, and help it grow. I will support my team members wholeheartedly. I will be the kind of leader who is transparent and takes risks. One who is not afraid to fail, but when I do, I fail forward. I will be the kind of leader that people can count on, I will do what I say and say what I do.
I did not focus on "tangible" things such as: knowledge in curriculum and instruction, tech skills, budgets, LCAPs, SPSAs, discipline...because those are all things that I have either learned or can learn. Doesn't mean those things are easy, by any means. It's just that the other ideas are the ones that I feel strongly about. My leadership values. They were at the core of my leadership style within my classroom, within my family, and will continue to be at the core of my leadership style moving forward.
Whatever your leadership role is...there are going to be days that you will fall down that rabbit hole. It is important on those days to look up and see the bright spots. Celebrate those bright spots, they are always there, you just need to look for them. They are around you and they are within you. Believe in yourself and keep building sandcastles!
Mother, teacher, TOSA, GCE Level 1 & 2, Encourager of others.
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