What a vacation taught me as a leader

As we are in the thick of summer, I hope everyone has already had a chance to get away for a few days or will have that chance before school starts back up.  Finding time to get away is so important for many reasons. This past week I had the chance to get away for several days with my family.  While I intended to “leave work behind for several days”, I actually had great insights into my leadership growth through the activities with my family.  Here is “what a vacation taught me as a leader”?

So our vacation consisted of several days of doing outdoor activities that was aimed to get us away from the hustle and bustle (and also the constant technology for today’s youth).  It allowed us to have fun in so many different ways in the great outdoors. While I prepared meals or was swimming with my daughters, I found myself reflecting upon their experiences and how it related to leaders and their journey to improve.  Here is what I learned:

Vacation Activity Impacts for a Leader’s growth
My daughters both tried new outdoor activities that they had never previously done. This was their idea and made us so proud. This reminded me that the only way to grow is to learn new skills/strategies and apply those to your role as a leader.  You will not grow if you stay with the status quo – you must embrace change.
When my youngest daughter tried a 3 story high ropes course – she was scared. However, she approached this with an open mindset full of confidence and learned from early struggles. She then applied that learning to later obstacles and she finished successfully! As I watched her do the “ropes course”, I reflected how it is important to learn from past practices to improve future endeavors. Jon Gordon has wrote, “failure is part of path to success; failure doesn’t define you but rather it refines you”.  It is so important that leaders learn from their experiences to improve future practices.
Spending time with my family allowed us to develop greater connections – the most important part of our trip. As a leader, you must have a purpose!  This will guide your journey with positivity and a focus that will allow you to overcome challenges.  “People don’t get burned out from a job because of the work – they get burned out because they forgot their purpose”.
My oldest daughter was determined to take a canoe trip (her first experience with a canoe). While it was new, she showed determination and drive to be successful to take the canoe all over the lake!


She showed me that as a leader we must have GRIT. Grit is someone’s passion that allows you to persevere to reach your goals.  A leader’s role is difficult with many negatives that come our way, but having Grit allows us to overcome these negative situations and be successful.

I hope everyone finds time get away from work for a period of time this summer.  At some point, I also hope you reflect about that time with your family/friends as it can help us to learn new insights into the role as a leader.  Our journey never stops – be relentless to learn, grow, collaborate with others to help make our schools the very best.










I look forward to hearing from you about your reflective thoughts from your summer vacation and how it applies to your role as a leader.  Comment below or reach out to me at leadlearnerperspectives@gmail.com




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A Husband, Father and Principal with a focus on learning, leading and connecting with others.

An educator for 25 years with 14 of those being a building administrator. I have found that the more I learn form others and their experiences it helps me grow and learn as well. I hope you join our journey as we create learning environments for students and staff that create future success.

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