I used to LOVE "Choose Your Own Adventure Books"! I would devour them, couldn't get enough! It was so interesting to me how one choice would lead to another, then another, then another...and the story continually changed based on decisions. Quick decisions, not considering the evidence, the facts, the implications kinds of decisions. EASY decisions.
Then I grew up. Life is full of "Choose Your Own Adventures", constant choices, numerous options, alternate endings. But as an adult, these decisions are not to be taken lightly. We talk about giving student choice in class, teacher choice in their own professional learning. Those things, I can do. It's the big deal, life altering decisions that have my head spinning.
My head is spinning, just like this weather vane. My wheels are turning, just like this weather vane.
This is the time to do what my friend calls "adulting". Time to put on the "big girl" pants and make some decisions. Usually, decision making comes pretty easy for me. I am not one to shy away from change, or risk...in fact, I kind of thrive on it. But right now, at this moment, I'm frozen.
I am so proud of the teachers and administrators that I work with and all of the risk taking they are doing. They have made a conscious choice to do something different. To shake things up. I celebrate them! So, why am I treating myself any different?
I have heard "Only you know what is best for you.". Do I? Do I really? If so, decisions shouldn't be so hard. A friend repeatedly has told me "You need to be where you can be at your best." Where is that? What is my best? We all have many "adulting" decisions to face throughout our life. We can let life happen to us or we can take the reigns and be in control. Which shall it be?
I am pretty satisfied with the decisions I have made that have lead me up to this point. These decisions have taken me from quiet, insecure teacher to the person I am today, which I feel has come from a lot of growth. The decision to leave my classroom, for a District Office job, was a huge choice...but it wasn't a hard choice. I knew it was what I was supposed to be doing at that time. Is that how it always happens? I am unsure. I want to continue on this path of self discovery and growth. But what does that look like? I honestly don't know.
So I have kept coming back to my 6 word memoir, my purpose statement:
Someone who motivates, encourages and inspires.
Hmm...usually this helps ground me. But that statement IS me, regardless of where I am or what I am doing. So then I have my other go to: "Everything happens for a reason. People cross our paths for a reason.". Do I really believe this? If I do, then I need to just wait and let things play out. I need to slow my roll and focus on the important things.
What does this have to do with leadership? I think it has a lot to do with it. As a leader, any leader...a leader of others, of your own life...we are faced with these "Choose Your Own Adventure Moments", and what we choose may just define who we are.
Protocol and flow charts are words that myself and my team have been saying a lot lately. It's because people thrive when things are in order. If A happens, then do B which leads to C. If there is a logical path, things are much easier, clearer. Unfortunately, there is no flow chart or protocol in life. So...what to do?
When at those crossroads:
1) Recall your purpose.
2) Find your happiness.
3) Consider your strengths.
4) Consider the implications.
5) Consider timing.
7) Gather information.
8) Trust your gut.
9) Get out of your own head.
I don't know if this post will help anyone else, but myself. But there is always hope that others will find something in my story.
Mother, teacher, TOSA, GCE Level 1 & 2, Encourager of others.
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