If our actions do not inspire people to make positive changes, then we are not leaders. In my opinion , leadership is reserved for those who value inspiration as it relates to organizational improvement. In my blogging hiatus from Harvey, I have been reminded of the importance of the concept of leading through inspiration. We have heard leadership is not a position or title but rather a service to those in our care. Can you imagine what we would be capable of accomplishing if we truly lived out this belief? Can you imagine the possibilities if we truly owned the success of others in our care like our own?
I vowed long ago to never subject anyone to a meeting that I conducted in which I did not plan for inspiration. To plan for inspiration implies you know and have taken the time to recognize the emotional needs of your audience. Secondly, planning for inspiration implies, that based on these needs of your audience, you have taken time to reflect on their needs and carefully craft a plan that will resonate with them emotionally, provoking them to consider improvement or change based on the needs of those in their care. Our personal “to do” lists as a leaders and what we need to accomplish must never trump the intentional planning for the needs of others. As educators, lessons go awry when we forget we are teaching children, not subjects. The same is true for leaders, if we fail to recognize we are leading people and not tasks, then we do NOT deserve the title of leader.
In my opinion, we are too easy on the so-called leaders in our lives. Leadership shall be reserved for those who inspire those around them to be better version of themselves, those that recognize the importance of sacrificing their own agendas to support the needs of those whom we serve, and to those who own the failures and successes of those on their team as their own.
The campus I serve is approaching its third week post hurricane Harvey. Cement floors, visible sheet rock, and high emotions on behalf of our students and teachers have become common place sights and feelings at Brookside. Hope, pride, and laughter are not as easy to come by as they were just three weeks ago when we clapped our students in on the red carpet for their first day of school. As a principal, worry consumes me regarding the moments of lost instructional time, supplies, furniture, and former motivations of our staff and students which we spent so much time igniting and inspiring just a short time ago. Leadership calls me to silence the worry and listen. Listen and see the hidden hope and long-term lessons waiting to be told through this disaster. Leadership calls me to remember my primary job is to inspire this community right where they are… in the arms of each other.