“Things that matter most must never be at the mercy of things that matter least.”Johan Wolfgang Von Goethe
Leadership is a very complex word, role, title, and idea. When the word leadership is brought to a conversation, many thoughts, ideas, and images appear. As a female leader, I can speak to balance in leadership which is a myth no matter your gender or age.
Finding balance in leadership is not possible. We have to change our mindsets to allow ourselves to say no to things that are not in our plan for the season we are in at this time. It has taken me many years to understand this point, and yes, I still struggle! In my daily devotion, Ecclesiastes 3 points out the different seasons.
Ecclesiastes 3 1-8: To everything, there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
I had the opportunity to share thoughts with Dr. Susan Homes from Illinois Principal Association(IPA). I shared with her the season I am in at this time and the difficulty it was for me. There is fear that happens for any leader on the ladder of success. Leaders do not want to look weak or sound like they cannot lead. They never want to give any impression they are not capable. IPA has never made me feel this way. Dr. Homes is top-notch, along with every person working on this team. I would expect nothing else from an organization I grew up with as a leader.
If you are not working in an environment that is respectful, trustworthy, and encouraging, then work to change it by example or by providing ideas to lead up. It is always the season to model your values. Leaders always want to give 100% to all they serve each day. There will be seasons when they hope all those they help can support them when they need a hand. We need leaders who understand all of these components of leadership today more than ever.
I want leaders to know you do not have to do all to be all to everyone and everything! You do not have to read all the new books (I hope you read mine when it is available). You do not have to get on every social media platform. Life is not a sprint; it is a marathon! Pace yourself to enjoy, deal with, and overcome the season you are in at this time.
Today you are given twenty-four hours, and tomorrow, you will be blessed with another. Design your plan to focus on priorities. Do not let distractions get the best of you! Write out specific steps to follow to complete your plan! Here are some tips to avoid distractions.
- Set a consistent calendar with designated times of no interruptions. Example: Friday night is Family & Friends night
- Schedule office time
- Check email at designated times only
- Touch email and paper mail once-Do something with it
- Organize your area to function-everything has a place
- Carry a notepad or way to take notes to send while visiting classrooms or offices. (I like to write out cards I will send to them)
- Have a spreadsheet to manage visits, positive encouragement-what is measured, monitored and modeled, will make a difference! M&M love the chocolate!
If you are like me, you have items you procrastinate doing. Make your plan, write it out with the things you keep avoiding on top! Stick to the program and get it done! Follow up at the end of the day with a reflection piece on all you accomplished and then the extra things you did! Now you make the plan for tomorrow! Remember the season you are in and always be kind to yourself. The seasons change, and it will be time to do what you think you need to do when the season changes!