One might notice by looking at my archives that I took a significant break from blogging. My last post was many months ago…in a different school year, in a very different time in my life and my career. So many things have changed over the past 9 months: new responsibilities, new supervisor, new strategic plan, new way of conducting business, new terminology, new learning, and new relationships.
With all of that said, what I have recognized the most over the past few months is how little I was paying attention to my own leadership–I was so worried about helping others I failed to grow myself. Through looking inward, I began to notice some things I was doing that were not the most productive behaviors. Here are a few pieces I have learned about myself:
1. I am good at feedback. Really good…like too good…and quick on the trigger…and sometimes too blunt. I’m the one who has the propensity to pick out exactly what needs to be “fixed” when a problem arises. The problem with all of this is that I have a tendency to forget to recognize the accomplishments made, the product created, the process developed, etc., and instead go into “feedback mode”. Yikes. You have to have thick skin to deal with me on some days.
2. I am good at keeping to myself. I have always scored as an introvert on those personality tests you take as a young adult, but what I didn’t notice was that my own commitment to “working hard” had manifested itself on many occasions into working as a hermit. I’m not sure how someone who loved to play team sports so much as a kid turned into someone who prefers going solo, but it happened.
Flip Flippen has said, “No organization can rise above the constraints of its leadership.” What I have recognized through my learning over the past several months is that I have to work on overcoming my constraints in order not to weigh down my organization. My big realization: I need to be cognizant of my own constraints and work on them in order to grow in my own leadership. Although I continue to mess up, I am at least aware of my tendencies and also am thankful I have others who hold me accountable for staying on track.
So why share this now? I think it is time for me to pick back up and be the reflective educator that drove me to this blog in the first place. I believe reflection is a huge part of what I do–it is who I am and how I learn. I also understand that in order to lead, a person must be willing to be vulnerable. I ran across this quote recently, and it was the final thing that pushed me back to this blog:
Images: “The curve in the middle of the path…” by Nina Matthews on Flickr “reflections (B)” by Camil Tulcan on Flickr
“Life is short. There is no time to leave important words unsaid.”