Before you leap into anything, take a breath and understand a few things! There is a difference between a leader and a manager. Are you a reader and learner? Do you know the why, how and what about you are doing? Let’s discuss!
The chart provides a quick glance at the difference between leadership and management. Leadership is an individuals ability to influence, inspire, motivate, and enable others to believe in the vision. Leaders can energize the group to work together without power or control to accomplish the goal. Management is tasked-oriented with the day-to-day operations. They make sure everything is assigned, taken care of and completed to accomplish the goals.
I had the honor of working with the Wallace Foundation through the SAM’s Project (School Administrator Managers). As principal of a large middle school, we were able to hire a SAM to take care of the management responsibilities of my position in order for me to focus more time on instructional needs. I found it to be beneficial when the SAM was experienced. To find out more visit the Wallace Foundation website https://www.wallacefoundation.org/principal-story/pages/sam-project.aspx
Dr. Bill Sommers is an author, consultant, teacher, principal, leadership coach, learner and one of the individuals who has read more books than anyone! When my husband complains about all of the books I have, I am going to reference a few people like Dr. Sommers. The best advice I have heard him provide is read! If you think things are the same as they were ten years ago, they are not. Who knew we would have Covid-19 and life would be turned upside down.
His wisdom is priceless! I know our biggest excuse is we do not have time to read all of these books, check all of these emails, blog posts, or attend webinars. However, if we are not modeling growth in learning for staff and students, how do we expect them to achieve it? Block out just 15 minutes a day to professionally read. Do you have a commute? Listen to a podcast, webinar or audiobook on your drive. Then share one thought you gained with others!
I have often spoken about understanding why. Why is your purpose in life? Sometimes the why can be left in a fog when we let other things interfere. Each year I select one word to help drive my why. It helps me keep my focus. Simon Sinek is the author of Start with the Why and also Find Your Why. I have included his Tedtalk, which is relevant to everyone working in a public setting. I want to share just a few words from his book:
“I imagine a world in which the ability to inspire is practiced not just by a chosen few, but by the majority. Studies show that over 80 percent of Americans do not have their dream job.” “I hope to inspire others to do the things that inspire them so that together we may build the companies, the economy and a world in which trust and loyalty are the norm and not the exception.” Take action today!
Each day my goal is to help someone. I have told leaders and teachers I have coached/mentored you may never know the impact you have on others. Days can be difficult when you face many challenges, but you are doing all you can! Always know when you least expect it a little reminder of why you do comes to you!
Leadership comes at different stages and places in life. People can help inspire others without realizing they are impacting others. One word of encouragement placed at the right time authentically makes a big difference.
My daughter is a special education teacher with three children of her own. She also has a little mini farm of ducks, chickens, rescue dogs, a cat, and mice she rescued. She has a big heart! Days can be full for her and exhausting, and she had a hard day a few days ago. Then that evening, a parent sent her a message to thank her for doing the extra stuff she is doing with music in the classroom because her child is responding. He had a challenging year last year, but you are making a difference. Way to go, mom for helping to lift up a teacher!
My husband made a phone call to schedule an appointment for a visit to the doctor. The receptionist asked if he knew Brenda. “Yes, that is my wife.” “She had my boys in school and was a blessing.” More was discussed, but it was so many years ago that I had her children it touched our hearts.
Then as I turn on my computer, I see a picture of a former student taking on a new leadership position as he continues to grow. He set out to Washington, D.C. and has done a great job in accomplishing goals. I am very proud of Diante!
We are reminded of our why, and it reinforces our call to action. Please continue to do so; others will find what and how! It’s not easy being green, but let’s discover why!