If you’re not sure, let’s check it out together
As a coach and leader that believes in integration, I have a habit of noticing when a system is overly reliant on one part or approach.
For example, in the school systems I have experienced, there is often a multi tabbed document that is intended to articulate the goals of that school or that department.
Perhaps this is your strategic plan or some kind of goals tracker.
Now, I do NOT think these are bad things.
I tend towards linear thinking and, quite frankly, love a system.
But when we only have the strategy component of our leadership articulated, we’re missing essential elements of what really generates our experience.
Let’s consider all the pieces that make up our experiences as leaders. This is what is looks like to me:
Where I source from in leadership (Ex: trust, shame)
My goals for the school or department I serve (Measurable, outcomes, strategic plan stuff)
The dreams of those I serve and myself that articulate a larger desire than the SMART goals alone.
Who do I have to become as a leader to lead for my vision?
My personal four dreams for myself as a leader
Notice that at the top of this progression is a question about where we are sourcing from in our leadership. In the current world of school leadership I understand a few things:
I understand the expansive expectations for leaders.
Everything from instruction to maintaining the school building to talking to legal about custody issues falls to you.
I understand the culture of urgency that often morphs into crisis culture.
Walkie talkies are going off and your days are often derailed by a student who bit a teacher or a parent demanding your attention.
I understand that you are surrounded by anywhere from ten to a thousand different emotional and mental states.
Teachers, parents, kids, and other staff all bring their emotional lives with them to work and sometimes it can all be a bit contagious.
It would be easy to start to source our leadership from things like:
But you are a beautiful light, a light not just to be enjoyed by others, but a light unto yourself.
You have chosen to serve kids and teachers. And you know that this does not have to mean suffering, but sometimes it can all feel a bit heavy.
The invitation today is to sit for a moment, get your coffee or tea in hand, and pause long enough to consider,
Where do I want to be sourcing from?
Imagine that you are a light and you have a cord with a plug.
What do you want to plug into to fuel you?
Below is an image of the Map of Consciousness developed by David Hawkins. You don’t need to have a full grasp of this map to find it useful. Consider the words in the first column under the heading “Name of level” and look at the words in the green, blue, and purple sections. Perhaps one of these words resonates with you.
This month I’m committed to sourcing from FREEDOM.
Freedom is a lot like Trust on this chart. There is a letting go baked into it.
So if I’m sourcing from Freedom, I get to lead from that place.
I find freedom in executing my literacy professional learning series
I find freedom in my next evaluative conversation with a teacher
I access freedom on the budget call
I access freedom in deciding what time I want to leave school each day
I tap into freedom in every response I give someone
If we haven’t tried it ourselves, we’ve all likely been around leaders who are sourcing from blame, disdain, shame, and anxiety.
We have good data that leading from those sources doesn’t result in transformational outcomes for teachers and kids.
And we definitely know that it leaves us and the people around us feeling crappy.
Part of my work in the world is creating a community of leaders who believe in the vibrant possibility of educational leadership and they know they can feel good along the way.
So write back to me, let me know what you are choosing to source from in your leadership.
I’ll be cheering you on.