Why I lead… #SAVMP
The empty space of this post stared back at me for a while as I thought about why I lead in secondary schools. I understand why I want to lead, but why I actually lead presented a different mindset and an opportunity for deeper reflection.
Why I want to lead: Born into a family of teachers and administrators, I was doomed from the start…as with each passing day of my childhood, it was further etched on my heart to take a similar pathway. However, I was not the traditional “I want to be a teacher” kind of kid; I was that “other” kind of kid. For example, I loved going to school, but only for the non-instructional, non-classroom-related experiences. Academically, I survived the old industrial model of education, but I did not take advantage of the learning opportunities that my teachers provided. To be honest, I do not believe my teachers were equipped to reach all students nor do I believe that our classrooms were structured to engage all students…instead, the system was catered to reach and engage those that fit within the one-size-fits-all model. Instead of engaging in learning, I preferred to make my classmates laugh and watch my teachers struggle to contain us (I promise…the story gets better).
My teachers and administrators did not really respond well to my school-life interactions. I genuinely believe my educators wanted a different result, but it always appeared that they did not know how to achieve it…and how to achieve it for every student. I knew I wanted something different for my future classroom (and even my future role in leadership).
Why I lead: It’s one thing to want to do something, it’s another thing to actually act on the desire. Yesterday (08/09/13) was one of the most memorable days of my adult life. I officially finished graduate school and celebrated with my family and friends afterwards.
Instead of the traditional restaurant celebration, we went to a cool hotel lounge to have a social mixer. My family and friends took time to do a toast and remind me of my journey as a son…a brother…a friend…a person…an educator.
Their words permeated my soul and provided further revelation as to why I lead in secondary schools:
I lead because I love building connections with individuals. I love people.
I lead to serve others and be a servant leader.
I lead to challenge the status quo. I push to be “different” — but effectively and efficiently.
I lead to be an example for others. I strive to be the change that I want to see.
I lead because I have a story and a purpose to share.
I lead because I believe in authenticity. It strengths relationships and builds credibility with those around me.
I lead because everyone has a talent (and potential). I want to ensure it’s discoverable and engaged.
I lead to learn from others. I love to tap into others’ knowledge and experiences.
I lead to inspire others and be inspired by their story as well.
I lead because I love my profession and I desire to continuously evolve professionally.
I lead to build leadership capacity in others. There is strength in numbers.
I lead to pay it forward. My mentors are invaluable and I want to share lessons learned.