This year I am part of the school district's Leadership Academy. The Leadership Academy is for those who would like to venture into the world of administration. A quick disclaimer: I am not interested in becoming an administrator. I'm participating in the academy for a variety of reasons but one of them is that I want to become a better leader within the school. I have been told by my administrative team that I need to step up and be a leader within the school. This has struck me as odd because I thought I was a quiet leader, so clearly my definition of leadership is not the same as my administrators' definition. And thus my quest for common language began with the Leadership Academy.
In yesterday's session, we talked about the traits of a leader as we do each and every session but this session really resonated with me. We talked about influence and how every word and action has a positive and/or negative impact on all. There was also a discussion around how important it is to be authentic in your intent. The word trust was mentioned a fair bit too. All very interesting but it was the Simon Senek video about "The Golden Circle" that tied it all together. I've seen the video multiple times but it was the line "if you don't know what you believe, why would anyone follow you" that struck home. Now let me clarify that I don't have this overwhelming desire for people to follow me. What struck me is that it is imperative for any leader to know what he/she believes in. Not only must that leader know his/her beliefs but use those beliefs to guide everything. If you aren't true to yourself, then you have lost your credibility.
We finished up the leadership session with a discussion about what kind of boat you are when it comes to change: a kayak, a sailboat, a speedboat or a cruise ship. (I am a cruise ship through and through but that could be a whole post by itself). We also talked about our upcoming homework assignment: the gift others see in you (I drew a blank). As our facilitator explained, it is important to know what your strengths are and be able to speak to them.
My takeaway was that although I am very hard on myself and find it very difficult to talk about myself (in a positive manner), I am very cognizant of what I believe in. What I am very good at is staying true to my beliefs no matter what.
And I'm content with that.