Saturday, August 17, 2013

Starting Off Right: Ready...or Not (#SAVMP)

(Photo by KB)

I came to a hard realization about myself this week.  I had time to think, reflect, and talk through some of these things with people I trust and respect.  In the end, I have to admit to myself I am not ready to be a leader.

This week I had two situations, interactions with others, where I was overly emotional.  I didn't listen well, and I felt like I had to push my ideas and thoughts about the topics instead of considering other points of view.  I was too pushy and it made people uncomfortable.  I was more worried about my opinions then trying to understanding the impact these situations would have on others. I should have stopped, stepped back, thought.  Instead I just bulldozed forward.

Overall, I acted poorly. 

I have a tendency to beat myself up when I feel I have not acted as my best self.  It can get pretty ugly. I  decided to try something different this time, though. I reached out for help.  I needed mentorship, and I called upon an experienced leader that I have connected with through Twitter; someone I consider both a mentor and a friend.  I am supremely jealous of anyone that gets the pleasure of working with Jimmy Casas on a daily basis; I can only imagine how wonderful he is to have as a leader.

I was able to leave that conversation feeling much more level headed, optimistic, and with a better understanding of how I need to act going forward. Jimmy also reminded me that I am going to have failures, now and along the way, and I need to be aware of this so I can learn and continue forward movement. The negative emotions were washed away with action steps and an attitude of positive modeling.  And I felt relief that I did not have to figure all this out on my own. 

I have so much to learn. As I navigate my way through this next year, my goals are to stay attuned to my strengths and weaknesses as a leader. My reflections will focus upon where I can improve and strengthen my weaknesses. I am determined to grow in all areas of my job, not just in leadership, but as a teacher and with my students (of course). I am going into this year knowing I do not have to maneuver these challenges alone, and similarly I have an incredible support system with whom I can celebrate successes.

What changes of mind, action, and attitude might you need to change to have a successful start of the school year? What reflection goals might you think about focusing on to ensure honest inventory of your growth? How can you help yourself and your staff move through times of struggle to a stronger, more powerful place of trust and community?

How will you start the year off right?


  1. Jenna
    A very honest and emotional reflection...the first step to meeting your role with success. There will be great days and not so great days, and we need to be open to learning from each and every you have done already.
    Best wishes as you embark on this journey.

  2. WOW! Honest reflections (blogs) are by far my favorite. I too had a "meltdown" this week and felt as though I was not ready to lead. I called upon my mentor and personal friend - all the negativity was stripped away and I was renewed with a positive attitude about myself and my leadership skills. Yes, we will fail at times. The key will be how we react, reflect, and pick back up as we move forward. Thank you for sharing and making me feel that I am not alone in this.