This past week has brought me several new lessons. One of the things I enjoy about administration is how it challenges me to make wise decisions from core principles. Our previous Superintendent had the mantra “Leadership is about bringing out the best in yourself and others”. Slowly, I’m starting to see how and why that’s true.
I’ve also been thinking about another phrase that’s passed around in our district; “building relationships, one conversation at a time”. It encourages me to be present, to focus on the person in front of me and what we’re discussing, keeping in mind the bigger picture and how our work is held together.
As I was out running on Friday morning, reflecting on a challenging situation I’d been dealing with, I was considering one decision I’d made. A few years back, I’d have thought it was a “mistake”, but the Mindset work of Carol Dweck has challenged me to think otherwise. Instead, I go back to another core principle; We are all learners, and the learning is never done. We are always gathering information, making decisions, reflecting, revising and making future plans. We never work from perfect information, there are always holes in what we know and misconceptions about things we see.
So, an effective leader makes decisions from a position of humility. We never get it right; all we can do is bring out the best in ourselves and others, learn, and move our relationships forward. Work with processes that are understood, communicate clearly, consult when needed, and make the call.