Every leadership role has its own unique way of measuring what it meant to be a “success”. As a principal, one of my biggest struggles was always feeling like success was a moving target.
If I made the teachers happy, was I still challenging and empowering them to grow?
When the students were happy, did that mean the teachers were in a good place?
If test scores were high…were they high enough?
If you’re hitting a leadership bullseye, make sure you are not hitting it on the wrong target.
Making a difference for those you truly serve doesn’t always come with a “yes”, sometimes it is a “yes, and” or a “yes, but”. That macro view of your campus, district, or position speaks to your position. You HAVE to see things differently as a leader and sometimes that means you have to dig deeper into the difference between success and mastery.
Mastery requires endurance. Mastery, a word we don’t use often, is not the equivalent of what we might consider its cognate — perfectionism — an inhuman aim motivated by a concern with how others view us. Mastery is also not the same as success — an event-based victory based on a peak point, a punctuated moment in time. Mastery is not merely a commitment to a goal, but to a curved-line, constant pursuit.”
I can relate to this personally — this is the urge that drives me on to find new ways to explain things, to understand things, and identify new relationships and concepts. There is no endpoint. There is always someone who comes along to challenge us, nudge us, and let us know that there is always more to know, more to consider. This TED talk makes it OK to feel that there’s so much we don’t know, as long as we keep seeking and exploring. The difference Adam Grant might say is between knowledge and wisdom.
May this Friday find you seeking the next mountain top, friends!