Timeout for Leadership-your one-minute leadership idea
The Principal Coaching Clinic #30
Have you kept your promises?
I am sure you remember, like it was only yesterday, your interview for your current leadership position. I want you to really think about this question. Have you kept the promises that you made in that interview?
In the interview, we tend to say anything that we think our future employers want to hear to help us land that job. That is human nature. We make promises and very likely exaggerate our accomplishments. So, now I am calling your bluff. What have you accomplished?
I know that I promised as part of my I interview work hard, have a good attitude, be a team player and to operate with integrity and honesty. I think I accomplished all of these.
However, somehow along my journey, I got sidetracked from accomplishing my vision and some of my lofty goals and expectations that I expressed in my interview. Recently, I was going through my personal archives and I found some of my literature that I prepared for that interview and in this area, I tended to fall a bit short. In part, I basically forgot. I lost track of my promises. Please do not mourn for my career, I think I had a good career and accomplished quite a bit. But I never hit some of those notes from my interview.
Let’s face it. Life happens. The day to day grind happens. Over time, those promises dim. I am asking each one of you, no matter where you are in your career, to stop and pause to reflect to see if you kept or are on the road to keeping those promises. I think that this is an excellent activity and will give you a good barometer of where you are headed or where you have been. This pause may also give you a chance to re-direct. I ask each principal to sit with your most recent employees to gauge where he or she is at in his or her first year. I am sure it is still fresh in everyone’s memory. Work your through your staff and see how successful each person has been. I predict that the conversations will be both engaging and enlightening.
I can vividly recall asking each prospective science teacher in the interview about starting an environmental club and doing some great things on our property with our students. Our students were hungry for this direction. Each person hired promised that this job was for them. I cannot recall ever seeing that club. Shame on each person for making that promise and shame on me for not holding each person accountable.
Likewise, what do you do with your yearly goals and objectives? Are they meaningful? Are they legitimate? Or are they merely softballs that are easily attained with little work on your part? If they are the latter, you are losing a huge opportunity to make an impact.
Your vision and your goals must drive you. If you lose track of these goals or if they are blurred, what good are they? You know the answer to that one. They are not worth the paper that they are written on.
I challenge you, to re-think how you operate and make a difference. A difference for yourself and a difference for your staff and students.