Leadership is often about resiliency… standing up in the face of adversity, getting back up after being pushed down, planting the seeds of hope in what appears to be a field of rocks or concrete or unturned stones.
To me, resiliency is not something that can be taught, but is something that must be learned, through experience. As a new principal, I often struggled with not only the big challenges, but also the day-to-day frustrations. Being an elementary principal can be isolating and lonely. Over time I developed the leadership skills to handle the ups and downs. I also developed my own resiliency.
Was it always easy Absolutely not!
Am I a stronger leader today because of the adversity I have overcome Absolutely!
I hope that today we develop resiliency in our leaders, our teachers, and our students. The first Mathematical Practice called out in the Common Core State Standards asks us to help our students learn how to “Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.” Wouldn’t it be great if all of our students, teachers, and leaders had this skill? It is not easy, and it is not taught in one lesson. But it is valuable and necessary as we move forward in a global society where the answers won’t always be handed to us by an “expert”.
Reflective questions to consider:
- How do you develop resiliency in others?
- What challenges have you overcome?
Abecedary of Reflection
I believe you develop resiliency in others by having them struggle with challenges they may encounter. Throughout my life I have had several challenges. I overcame challenges that have shaped me into the leader I am and others that I just want to forget. Growing up as a female in my culture was rather difficult and I still have male family members that don’t see me as a leader or someone they can have a conversation about world news, politics or business. At times it was frustrating, but I didn’t allow them to get the better of me. I have overcome several challenges in my life and I know they will continue. Without them life would be dull.
Thank you for sharing Lisa. Resiliency, and good leadership, is often born out of challenges- at home or at work. Gender and race issues are still a challenge in our world, our community, and in education.