Play to your Strengths

As we near the end of the school year and begin organizing for next, we are having conversations about teaching assignments and preferences.  For me as a leader, there’s a fine balance at play when I think about configuring my school to ensure kids have the best chance for success.  On the one hand, I hear the teachers and their desire to teach a certain grade or class.  On the other, I have a sense of what their strengths are, and a desire on my part to put them in positions where they play to these.

As the work of Marcus Buckingham and others shows, we are much better to focus on our strengths than to mitigate our weaknesses.  Given the chance, do what you’re good at; his is advice we hear in various forms all the time.

We want all our learners to be in a place where their strengths are accessed all the time, where they learn to use them effectively, and understand this is the way to success.  For so many of us, it’s the route to improved job satisfaction and general contentedness.

Our Superintendent talks about people’s Type and Temperment, how these are relatively unchangable. I know this of myself. Who I was when I was 15 is quite similar to who I am now that I’m 50.  My beliefs, values, goals and preferred styles are relatively unchanged. I have signature strengths (and weaknesses) which define who I am.  My work is to keep the focus on the strengths, to use these in all situations, and build from my position of power.

I can do the same for my staff as well.  By assessing their strengths, and tailoring their assignments to these, I can ensure all our learners will be in a position to succeed.

And we are all learners



About Ron Sherman

I am the principal of Salmo Elementary/Secondary School, a small rural K-12 school in the Kootenay Lake School District. Happy to be part of the Grand Conversation, moving learning forward and joining with great people every day. Runner, triathlete, skier, blogger, loving husband and father of 2 great boys
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