For the last few weeks, the title of the current series at church has been Counterintuitive. Each week the topic has changed but the foundational component of looking at “relationships, friendships, money, etc.” in a manner contrary to what common sense would indicate has been the core of each message. As I tend to do, each week, I draw various connections from the Sunday message to my life as leader in education. So this week as I was scrolling through my Twitter feed, I just had to stop and read Great Leadership Comes with a Counterintuitive Approach. As I read the blog and reflected on his two choices of speed and failure, I wondered if it went deeper than that.
Those skills which we once associated with strong leaders may be impeding an organization’s ability to move forward and be as creative and successful as possible. If your leader never fails, then how often are you, going to suggest something new and innovate which may be not completely successful at first blush? If your leader never exposes their own vulnerabilities, then how often will you share your challenges and those areas that you feel more support with?
I’m finding in my new role that my vulnerabilities and my learning curve are exposed on a regular basis. I need the expertise, the advice and the wisdom of my team in order for us, as a collective, to make powerful, impactful decisions. Does that make me any less of a leader?
In supporting some coaches this past week, we chatted about their role and their discomfort level with some grade levels. I used the term “vulnerability” and encouraged them to openly share that vulnerability with teachers who are proficient with those grades. What a great way to begin to forge a relationship. People need to be needed. Does that make them any less of a coach?
As we look at the expectations that we’ve placed on our educators to embrace new technologies, new paradigms in terms of professional learning, new expectations within curriculum guidelines and new strategies for assessment and evaluation, I’d like to think that we’re also creating cultures where educators are encouraged to share their vulnerabilities and to say that they don’t “get it”. Does asking for help make them any less of an educator?
In the summer I stumbled upon Brene Brown’s Ted Talk on Vulnerability.
I find myself re-watching it every now and again as the message is one that continues to resonate with me. If the notion of vulnerability is one that you are looking to explore, you may find this useful.
Has your notion of what makes a good leader changed over the course of your career?
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