Sunday, May 8, 2016

My Chapter 1 on Leadership: Belief in Yourself and Others, to Trust, to Success and Growth.

I asked #satchat voxer group what would be their Chapter 1, if they were writing a book on Leadership.  I got a few responses and don't want to single anyone out, as I did not ask any of their permission to discuss their thoughts.  I did it more to motivate me to write this and possibly hear a few different opinions than my own on the topic.  I don't think there are any wrong answers to this question, but the discussion on leadership always intrigues me.  I read more about leadership and self improvement than any other topic.

So let me explain my title: Belief in Yourself and Others, to Trust, to Success and Growth.  Part of this blog may confuse you, or even make you feel a certain way about me.  It is hard to explain if you don't know me or have not interacted with me.  To help you out a bit here is where I come from briefly:

I am relaxed intense, with strong feelings about many things and soft feelings about many others.  Through experience of working with me, you get to know what those are and how to best read my reaction.  I love "our kids" and feel a passion towards my school that is probably unhealthy.  I will call you out and laugh with you in the same sentence while not caring what you think about me.  I care about you, and will try to show you, but not always great at this.  You know there is trust in you, if you work with me.  I want to make sure to keep you on your toes, while not over pressuring you.  All while making sure you understand that if you mess up a lesson, I am definitely going to still back you up no matter what.  I will do the work, and make all efforts to understand where you are coming from.     

Hope that helps a bit, it is complicated, but also not really... HAHA Let me move on...

Chapter 1: ( I am not writing a book, I have no time for that)  If you believe in yourself you will be able to convince other people to believe in you.  As a leader, people need to be able to believe in you.  I hear too much about lead learner, create a happy school, or some other stuff where all you do is compliment or model and people will follow.  I don't think this happens.  Being ernest does not mean you are a good leader.  By that I mean, I see way too many that quote this or quote that and smile but have no substance.  I ask online or face to face these leaders what they do and it is #edubabble

I believe in myself, I believe in what I am able to do.  I am not perfect, I have faults, but I also have strengths.  I have a lot of them, and I believe in them.  One of my biggest strengths is that I will conquer over any problem or at the very least find a 3rd way.  I can not even think of the last time I failed in this, yes I said fail, I don't believe in that word in this context...  I don't close doors unless I want them closed, bottom line.

Belief in others = knowing they are doing and thinking the same way you are. You don't have to necessarily push them, they are already doing it.  You just have to support, assist, acknowledge, and thank them.  Why are they doing this work, is a much different question?  Here comes the vision that you have set forth and believe in.  It works parallel to all of this.  If you have a vision and direction with belief in yourself, and trust, you will automatically empower others to become leaders in their own areas.  That then answers the "why" they are doing this work.  It comes in the evidence of what they are doing.  The work is the "why", it is the evidence of "why" they are making particular choices.  Eventually you become a "yes man" in a very positive type of way.  You just say, "yes" to their ideas as they lead them, because you have conviction and belief in them, that they are good!  They go with them because they trust you.  They depend on you, that you will support them.  

It all starts with belief and trust though.  I also was a part of #satchat twitter and I got in a discussion about staff being happy.  I argued that happy staff are not alway moving forward.  I think being too happy with each other creates a climate of "not wanting to rock the boat", which is totally unhealthy for movement.  Moving happy in a bad direction is happy, but still wrong.  So don't create a happy culture, create a culture of trust.  A culture that even if challenged, will know that discussions will occur, dissension may occur, but you trust that you will keep it professional.  Open dialogue always equals growth.

Too many educators are afraid of this in so many mediums.  I don't know why?  Many of us are still seeing teaching as that single classroom school where everyone comes happy to learn and there is no one there to question what you are doing.  I trust that my staff can question me, I can question them, parents question us, we can question each other, and it is not because we are not happy, but because we have different thoughts.  We need open dialogue and questions to move us.  If not we have that same lesson, and that same school that does the same thing year after year.  "Our Kids" are evolving and are different now then they were.  We are evolving, and we need these questions to create the necessary changes.  This also takes a different form for each person as all of us have our limits.  A good leader needs to be able to read this and question less at times and more at others.

Don't we need to question each other, with trust, to grow with them.  Don't we owe them that?  To me that is leadership.  Creating a culture of trust leads to growth, by questioning each other and having belief in yourself, but also the process.  Talk, Listen, Stop, Think, Question, Repeat....

I just changed my tag line... I questioned what I was doing to grow... With trust and belief that this was right.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing your honest and thoughtful ideas, Douglas. I want to read more of your posts to learn and continue to develop my craft. I enjoyed our #satchat discussion and look forward to future discussions about teaching and leading.