A leader knows that to make positive change they must be committed to growth. This growth includes helping others and the school community get better over time. This involves hard work, dedication and doing the right work. Most importantly, it is about serving others. You have to care more (give a little more time, effort and energy) to move the needle. This involves being committed to:
- Creating the right environment for the students and staff to thrive
- Making the tough decisions the support the work
- Developing the strengths of others
- Doing whatever it takes to help others be the best they can be. Leaders find ways to extend themselves to others and go beyond the expected.
- Being the foundation of consistent, calm presence in the face of adversity.
- Caring about the work you do, surround yourself with people who care, show your team you care and build a team that cares about one another.
Doing this work is a challenge and then coupled with doing the daily tasks can be unsurmountable. Leadership is extremely hard work and can wear you down despite being passionate to develop and improve the conditions for others to grow. Leadership is also a lonely position that is isolating as typically you are the only leader within your building. To prevent this negative part of leadership, many leaders recognize the value of finding like minded colleagues through PLN that lift them up. This connection allows vulnerability, sharing of ideas, admittance of mis-steps and learning from others as part of the work. When you have others who serve as your champion, they celebrate your successes, efforts and help you stay the course of the daily grind that leaders face. While experience is still the best teacher (reflecting and learning from failures), having other leaders recognize you and give you “shout-outs” is valuable to your growth as well. I encourage leaders to take some time and recognize those leaders who have helped them drive for continual success. Leaders recognize the value of serving their staff and students, but sometimes we do not serve other leaders and the ones that helped pushed us and made us better. Serving as a Champion for other leaders does not put an emphasis on success but on being significant in the lives of others. This allows the actions to inspire others towards greatness. This simply act of kindness and validation allows leaders (who are human like everyone else) to receive the support, encouragement and intrinsic motivation to continue to do the right work. Even Leaders need a champion – someone who can be there to say “great job” and “thank you for being the difference”.
I am grateful for the following leaders who have taken a sincere interest in my work, provided encouragement, shared their personal experiences and gave possible solutions to challenges I was facing. I am better because of these leaders taking the time to be a champion for someone else like me and many others. A sincere “Thank you” to:
True leadership occurs by intentional efforts when leaders work extremely hard to improve their own learning and that leads to an improved school. But being a champion for other leaders is also an important part of leadership as it broadens our impact and helps potential leaders grow into their full potential. I encourage you to take time and Be the Champion for a Leader and recognize them for their work to help you. Comment below or reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org