Hiya stranger friends!
I’m working to build a repository of “leadership” supports for my team that meets all the varied modalities of learning that they may have. I love to read but maybe a podcast floats their boat…or maybe they want a one-pager to reference in moments of “uh oh”. Whatever it is, I’m starting with videos. Whether you’re a new principal, a seasoned district administrator, or somewhere in between, there are always lessons to absorb!
Authentic leaders never stop growing.
For those starting as campus leaders, Yale’s “Connected Leadership” offers research on aligning your actions with your values. As an administrator, it’s crucial to embody the traits you aim to instill in students and staff. I’ve found that leading by example and practicing what I preach as an educator builds trust and buy-in across the school community. You can also register for a FREE course from IUBM on “Developing Interpersonal Skills” if you want to hang up a gold star once you ace it, 😉
Every one of us has those inner critics who ask for more, better, and always!
For my middle-of-the-pack people, Brené Brown’s “Daring Leadership” is a must-watch. With her signature blend of research and storytelling, Brown advocates for a paradigm shift from armored to daring leadership. Leadership is not about being in charge. Leadership is about taking care of people. Her talk is a great reminder to stay grounded in authenticity and vulnerability even as our responsibilities grow. Want that gold star? You can pick up concrete engagement strategies from the University of Michigan’s “Leading People and Teams short course. Their segments on thoughtful feedback models have strengthened my ability to motivate faculty and tease out opportunities for talent development. Practicing active listening, asking coaching questions, and setting clear expectations with those around me have led to increased collaboration and job satisfaction. (on both our parts!)
It’s YOUR job to develop psychologically safe spaces for a foundation of efficient teamwork.
Finally, all the ones who have been doing this thing we call leadership for longer than we thought we ever could, the Open University’s talk on “Leadership: External Context and Culture” provides some hard-won wisdom. Having navigated major organizational changes, the speakers share how to drive complex initiatives by understanding your unique institutional history and landscape. Their advice has me reflecting on how to better frame change narratives (both within and without out of our control!) to unify stakeholders in our district. John Maxwell’s video “The 5 Levels of Leadership.” is another great one. Maxwell draws on his decades of leadership consulting to outline his framework moving from Position, to Permission, to Production, to People Development, and finally to Pinnacle. Regardless of your years of experience, his seasoned insights will have you reflecting on ways to guide your team to the next level.
As we know, trying to lead in the challenging educational system hasn’t gotten any easier. We’re also smart enough to know it never will. There are no silver bullets, and if it were simple, everyone would do it. In any given moment we can decide how to perceive our reality. And depending on our choice and attitude, we are more or less likely to overcome challenges and be successful. When you feel overwhelmed, remember we all struggle to get it all done. Keep leaning on your teams, focus on your “why,” and lead with the heart that made ya want to do it in the first place… Our students and schools need us now more than ever!
Learning while leading &