I’ve read the book Learning Leadership by Kouzes and Posner twice now – once on my own and again as part of a book study with all the principals in my district. With each new reading, I take away a new idea or a new leadership move.
“Learning to lead is about discovering what you value, what inspires you, what challenges you, what gives you energy, and what encourages you.” ~ Kouzes & Posner (p. 36), Learning Leadership: The Five Fundamentals of Becoming an Exemplary Leader
In the book, the authors spend time encouraging leaders to reflect on themselves, and their own values. I have blogged about my core values a number of times, but I wanted to take it a step farther and answer all of the questions below, from the book. Please feel free to join me by posting your own answers in the comments or on your own blog.
What do I value?
As an educational leader, I value honesty, integrity, transparency, and equity. I value a student-centered approach to decision-making that honors the hard work educators do every day on behalf of students. I value open communication and active listening skills.
What inspires me?
Seeing students excited about learning inspires me.
Seeing teachers excited about teaching and learning inspires me.
Seeing leaders engaging with students, staff, and community in positive ways inspires me.
What challenges me?
I am challenged by an education system that by its design and original intention created inequitable practices that unintentionally harm students.
I am challenged by beliefs that appear to me to be more adult-centered than student-centered.
I am challenged by educators who seem to have given up on students, in the face of overwhelming frustration.
What gives me energy?
Hard-working people who love their jobs give me energy.
Helping a new leader have their own a-ha moment gives me energy.
Hearing students using academic language in authentic and meaningful ways gives me energy.
Empowering educators to give students voice and choice in their learning gives me energy.
What encourages me?
All of the new teachers who continue to enter this profession on behalf of students encourage me.
All of the new leaders who have made a choice to impact adults and communities in addition to students encourage me.
All of the educational leaders who advocate for public education at the local, state, and federal level encourage me.
How about you?