Category: School Leadership

Decision Making takes skills

Driving can be so peaceful in the country—so many beautiful things to look at. What is that in the road? A rabbit! It better move. It is in the way. A decision, a choice must be made before it is too late.

The rabbit has made it more than halfway across the road to the other side. Just keep going. My car is almost there. Then a quick turn and my foot on the brake, the rabbit went back from where he left. Who saw that coming? What kind of decision was that?

Making decisions takes a great deal of skill. Leaders are faced with high pressure, deadlines, complex situations, unexpected circumstances, and the unbelievable at times. To make decisions, a strategy supported by skills is a need and quality for every leader.

Tips for making decisions

  • Take a breath of fresh air, and don’t let the stress get to you! Emotions should not be part of decision-making.
  • Time! If you do not have to respond immediately, wait!
  • Focus on solutions. Weigh the pros and cons.
  • Review goals and values. Compare solutions to these.
  • Consider all possibilities.
  • Talk, discuss, and question.
  • Rethink your options.
  • Make your decision.

The more you practice quality strategies in making decisions, the better you become at decision making. It doesn’t always work out that you have the time to go through all of the tips, but if you are solid in your beliefs, goals, and values, the more straightforward it becomes.

Strategies for Decison Making

  • What is your decision?
  • What information have you gathered to support it?
  • What are alternatives that could be utilized?
  • What evidence do you have to support your decision?
  • How does the decision you propose compare to alternatives?
  • Now apply your decision with action steps
  • Finally, analyze the decision

Decisions are best made when you can take the time with your team to present several different ideas to look at all views. There are times when as the leader, you have to make snap decisions. In the case of the rabbit, making a snap decision was based on the actions of others. The rabbit was in control of the situation. The decision was made, steps were taken, and the rabbit made it to the other side of the road.

How do you make decisions? Do you provide opportunities for others to be involved? Do you find it easy or difficult when making decisions?

Looking forward to more discussions on decision-making as we move forward in our leadership. Thank you for being part of the solution daily.

Mistakes, Do you make them?

It is so important to teach children it is okay to make mistakes. We do not make them with intent or to cause harm. Mistakes occur when we dare to try something new, utilize our creativity or innovation, attempt to solve a problem, and the list can continue of examples. It all leads to the same factor…we are human!

Can you imagine where we would be today if all of the great inventors decided not to take a chance? If that were the case, then the device you are using to read these words would not be around.

Celebrate the lessons mistakes bring to us. It is so tricky when the mistake may have brought harm to you or someone else. I have experienced all of those mistakes, and it is hard to accept and not to wonder why.

I can think of many people in sports, entertainment, politics, and everyday life who have experienced a mistake that cost them something valuable in their life. Still, they have utilized it to bring even more to an already gifted life.

I am blessed. I would not have said that several years ago. I could only see the mistake, problems, and losses. However, now I can see that my words can fill this page and, with a click, could help someone see the mistake, a problem, or a loss can bring you to a new place to provide for others and breathe new directions for you.

Thank you for reading, following, sharing, and being a solution daily. The goal only needs to be one individual and if it is more, then job well done!

Let’s Continue to learn!

We have many opportunities to learn daily. As educators, professional learning expectations are tied to specific mandates of topics to be covered and a required amount each year to maintain your certification. However, this is not all we need as we desire to be the best we can be for those we serve.

The article, Taking Control of Your Professional Growth written by Lauren Kaufman, Stephanie Rothstein https://www.edutopia.org/article/taking-control-your-professional-growth. Provides an excellent plan to help with your ownership of professional learning. There are many free resources available, books, podcasts, and individuals who share your passion.

Reach out to others as you strive to find solutions to questions, issues, and problems you want to address. Together we can be the solution daily for those we serve.

Thank you for being the solution daily! Always share out with others and add to the list of great resources to help.

Embracing Messy Leadership in Schools and Beyond

The Case of Embracing Messy Leadership in Schools By Sean Slade and Alyssa Gallagher Jul 7, 2021 @https://www.edsurge.com

A great piece to read! They list the benefits of messy leadership as follows:

Messy Leadership has many benefits: 

  • Multiplying Perspective – in short taking the broader view of an issue and of the potential outcomes. It is moving away from a short term or myopic view of an individual problem.
  • Emotional Connection – bringing emotion and empathy back into leadership and into decision making.
  • Seizing Momentum – being prepared to adjust or alter course and be not stuck in a predetermined path or process. This requires flexibility in thinking and a willingness to admit mistakes.
  • Sensing the Future – being open to new ideas, solutions, and processes, and testing them quickly. Leaders create quick learning loops with rapid iterations where ideas are prototyped and tested without going through full committee cycles.
  • Your Ego – being comfortable with “I don’t know” and putting your ego and your role as the traditional leader aside.

My thoughts:

During the global pandemic, and even as we share ideas today, it is messy. There are many points of view, guidelines being shared, professional opinions that contradict each other making clear decisions difficult.

At this time, we can recognize no matter what workforce you belong in; the world is changing at a rapid pace. We can only expect some “messy” points. Maintaining a solution-focused mindset to your leadership keeps the focus on the pathway to results.

When you can focus on solutions, you will see possibilities. Possibilities drive positivity for opportunities. When you focus on problems, you only see more problems. Problems cause negativity and blame. To be the solution daily, you can see the choice you and your team need to make. Will it be “messy?” The answer is yes! The recommended acronym is excellent! I love doing acronyms. They are fun to remember and to do. However, we tend to have too many of them in education.

Enjoy looking at your messy approach and see what works. It is easy finding problems, but solutions take creativity, thought, and collaboration.

How do you prepare for the day?

You will not find alarm clocks at our house. We naturally wake up early every morning before it is time to be up. I believe there are days we beat the birds! They still get the worms, though!

The first thing is to make the coffee! This is the essential first step to the day! I complete my daily devotions that come from several different books. This is always the best way to start my day.

When you have the chance to center yourself, start fresh, and have a positive mindset, you know you are on the right path for success. I feel great as the day begins, and then sometimes, challenges come I did not expect. It can be a struggle! Then I read my newfound friend’s blog post and thought, Wow!

Dan Rockwell was one of the individuals I met through Weaving Influence. My friend Becky told me to follow him for great advice and ideas. He is the “Leadershipfreak.” I have included his fantastic blog post! He has started a new way to help prepare for any challenge he may face, but I will not try. Let me know if you do.

Preparing for your day is great advice! Make sure you are also preparing those around you just in case you are not there! Enjoy the wisdom from “leadership freak!” He has great stuff to help you! Dive in to face things that challenge you, but show them how tough you are!

https://leadershipfreak.blog/2021/07/12/confidence-proof-you-can-face-any-challenge/

Transforming before us

Noise

Can you hear it?

The “white noise” of the world “darkens” the “brightness” of our thoughts, deafening our ears preventing us from hearing the wisdom of our father.

Vision

Can you see it?

Our vision is “clouded” by the distortion of the images presented as we question softly with muffled replies of lies. We are transforming; we are patterns in a world being changed unrecognized by our eyes. The sounds become louder, the sights become larger, and our world became smaller as we seek less from it.

Core

Do you know it?

Do not conform to a world, but renew your mind. Morals, values, beliefs, and united together as one are what needs to be done. We live where a click of a button identifies us as a follower in the social media world, limiting the idea of leadership. Where are the leaders?

Yesterday we lived, it is gone, but lessons remain. We cannot live backward, only forward with lessons to apply. The mirror reflects an image of the one who can choose for today to stand to prepare for tomorrow. Live for today, conquer fears no matter the fractures created, focus on the future, the unfailing love for faith, family, and the country as we prevail. The choice, of course, is always yours to make; the solution daily is the one we hope you make.

Fill in the blank

If you could fill in this blank what would it say?

Leadership is the ________ towards an uncertain world.

“All life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly.”~Dr. Martin Luther King (1967)

Leaders _______to make a difference.

I plan to_________.

“Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.”~President JFK

It is those who not only fill in the blanks but provide the leadership in the gaps between as we find ourselves looking forward to the future. Would you please share your thoughts on leadership? What do you see are the needs in leadership?

The Message

U.S. Students Show no improvements in Math, Reading, Science.

When did that headline message appear? The news may not read the same, but it clearly states the facts. Our students have not and are continuing to not perform at a high level compared to other countries. You can find these headlines from 2013 to the present time.

In December, 2013, Greg Palkot reported American high school students slip in global education rankings.

“Overall, according to the U.S. Department of Education, American students rankings in math have slipped from 24th to 29th compared to the last test in 2010. In science, they’ve gone from 19th to 22nd, and from 10th to 20th in reading.” “When the last study was released, Education Secretary Duncan said it was a “wake-up call for education administrators.”

Yes, I was part of the administration during this time. As I say to my students, “You can be part of the problem or part of the solution.” I can look back at all of the efforts and things I know we worked hard to do right. I also know we could always do better. In the end, I know many schools were just like us.

Everyone focuses on the problems or “root causes” of these headlines. However, it is when we change our mindsets we can see solutions. The first thing people want to do is throw money at the problem. Money is not the issue when you look at all of the countries. We spend more per student than any other country.

Our next choice when we focus on problems is placing blame. It is poverty, diversity issues, high levels of immigration-nope the other countries have these attributes as well.

U.S. Students show no improvements in Math, Reading, Science on International Exam December 3, 2019, U.S. News by Lauren Camera The most troubling among the results was that an international performance gap in education is widening.

Washington Post also ran an article (I have provided the link to the article) written by Moriah Balingit and Andrew Van Dam

Can we stop what we are currently doing in the headlines with education? The message being sent is not the focus of what is needed for the success of our children. I have some additional headlines and things to consider for another day. As a country, what do we want for our children as they prepare for a global working world? Read about the thoughts of how U.S. students are not as engaged, motivated, or had the endurance.

What are your thoughts on education?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/us-students-continue-to-lag-behind-peers-in-east-asia-and-europe-in-reading-math-and-science-exams-show/2019/12/02/e9e3b37c-153d-11ea-9110-3b34ce1d92b1_story.html

Roll out the red carpet!

It is time for some new headlines! What is the message you want to send? Roll out the red carpet and make your own stars! Put up pictures of your staff, students, or whatever you want to highlight.

Just ask me, and I can help you put some joy, laughter, motivation, feeling safe, and so much more. We are all here to help each other!