Here is where I am stuck. I had somehow found my voice in speaking about leadership and organizational change. I have seen a lot from my position, standing on that fence - wavering between two worlds. Which by the way, I whole heartedly believe, they should all just be in one world- "For the Children" (shout out to CUE Tang Clan). I have seen, experienced and learned a lot. I believed I had a unique perspective based on this "Limbo Factor". I believed that sharing through that lens could be helpful and impactful.
BUT...Now that I am heading back to the classroom, do I have the "right" to continue sharing that voice from "Leading In Limbo"? I know I have the "Limbo" part down, but I'm not going to lie... my confidence has been completely shot on the "Leading" part.
One of the most interesting things in all this, was the timing. I found out about this change in role, the day before flying out to a leadership conference (Lead 3) to speak in front of many leaders, in all different roles of education; over three days. To be honest, my soul and confidence were crushed and I felt like a fraud. I don't know how I was able to compartmentalize and stand up there and spout my stuff - or at least I hope I was.
As I stood up there and presented...this tape kept playing in my mind "Who are you, to be talking to these administrators about leadership? You are not a leader."
As much as I tried to cut that tape, it just continued to play over the next two months. I was ready to shut this blog down. Stop presenting on such things. Crawl into my new classroom, shut the door and do my best to serve my new students. Simple.
But it just didn't settle right inside of me.
Then this amazing opportunity was presented to me by my friend and often "partner in crime" Jay Sorensen. He asked if I would be one of three speakers for his district's (OUHSD) CUE Rockstar Admin PD day. I of course, believed he was just "throwing me a bone" because he knew where my head and my heart were at. But I of course, couldn't say no.
So... get this line up: Jon Corippo, John Eick and... me. That didn't cut that tape in my head... it just made it replay more frequently and louder.
Now, luckily, those two gentleman are friends of mine and I love them both to death, so I didn't have a complex about presenting with them, personally. To me, I was worried about perception from the participants- because those two are edu-leader giants, and I was just.. well ...you know how that ends.
A big "One of these things is not like the other....", deal.
I have written before about how blessed I am with amazing people in my corner. One is the incredible Joe Sanfelippo. I was chatting with him to bounce some ideas around about this session I was doing on "Culture". We went back and forth for awhile. Finally he said "Culture is also built on the language that you use. But after almost every single idea you had, you ended with "Who the **** am I?". Stop saying that! You can’t stand up there and lead, if you don’t believe in yourself. So stop it.”
Well- who can argue with that? OK, Joe... point taken.
So I pushed all of those things aside and went for it. I will share the results of that day, in another post- because that is not what this one is about. This one is about believing. It is about "Walking Your Why" and believing that we ALL have something to contribute. It is about not letting fear, anxiety, the past, chatter... deter you from your path...from your journey, if you are walking that why.
So- I am still not completely settled in what to do with this blog space. For now... I will just keep on writing and keep on leading, in whatever capacity I can.
My call to action is this: Learn from my "cautionary tale" - this is why I write so vulnerabily. We ARE all leaders in our own right... whether we are leaders in our classroom, on our site, in the district, of our family, in our church. Look around and see who is WITH you. Not necessarily behind you. I believe our best leaders, lead from the middle. Those who are in the mix, who encourage and inspire others to lead forward. That can be all of us. And in the words of my friend Brent Coley...
Thank you to these amazing people for helping me continue to "Walk My Why"- no matter what it says under my name, in my email signature: Jon Corippo, John Eick, Brent Coley, Tony Sinanis, Joe Sanfelippo, Michael Niehoff, Steve Woods, Jay Sorensen, Pam Hernandez, Terri Leon, Eddie Campos, Jr, and Jeremiah Ruesch (to name a few). You are appreciated more than you will ever know. I have learned so much from each and every one of you and continue to do so with every interaction.
Mother, Teacher, Presenter, GCE Level 1 & 2, Encourager of others.
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