Monday, 12 August 2013

Why do I lead? #SAVMP

cc licensedflickr photo shared by elder_d
Three labourers were working on a large project. One break they meet, introduced each other and discussed what each other did. The first worker said "I lay bricks, one after another each day." The second said "Well, I don't just lay bricks! I build walls and my aim is to make the straightest wall on this building." The first worker thought that sounded like a great job. Now the third worker said "I don't just lay bricks or build walls! Each day I come to work as part of a team to create the most magnificent building that this city has ever seen! People will marvel at it's architecture and talk about it for years to come."

I am still very early in this journey of leading and realise that I have plenty to learn, but I think this story illustrates 3 key attributes of "Why I Lead."

1. Relationships - Relationships are central to any effective leader. Leaders realise that it's not about them, their agenda, abilities or skills. It's about building others. Building good staff, student and community relationships is important to the well- being and culture of a school.

2. A Clear Vision/Purpose - People need a sense of belonging and that what they do is valued and adds meaning. Leadership needs to be strategic with a clear vision and direction.

3. Inspire Others - Leaders need to believe in others and to motivate and develop their capabilities. This not only strengthens others but builds ownership in the vision and direction of the school.

There is a difference between doing a job and having a purpose.
When you lead with a clear purpose you are able to inspire others. You also see how your influence/leadership can make a difference.

I lead because of people, their potential and their future. I believe that together we can move towards our individual and collective potential. I lead to help create the conditions for this to take place and to believe in others just as others have believed in me.

My 10 year old daughter was given her speech topics recently. The one she has chosen to do is 'Leaders who changed the world.' As part of her speech she wants to talk about what makes a good leader. Here are the qualities she wrote: People who are responsible, kind and committed.
Maybe that's some advice we could all learn from!

Sunday, 11 August 2013

A Blank Canvas

For several years now, I have followed blogs and many educators. This has been a very valuable learning tool for me professionally. A place to learn new ideas, a place that causes me to reflect and a place that challenges me to go further.

Part of this challenge has been to move from being purely a consumer, to one of contributor. As usual the self doubt tells you that you have nothing worth sharing. However, I believe as an educator, if I'm not prepared to take a risk and put myself 'out there', then how can I expect others to!

I have recently signed up to be part of the #SAVMP (School Administrators Virtual Mentor Programme). A condition of being on this programme was to have a blog and to be sharing with others. This was the push that I needed to finally start something that I knew I should be doing.

So it has begun. This is the blank canvas from which I will share. I have called this blog 'Life is...' after one of my favourite quotes from Mother Teresa. I hope this quote challenges you just as it does me.