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Leadership. Who do you start with?

You're a leader of a team, so who do you start with? I have held a leadership position for more than 1/2 of my years in my career. One of the hardest tasks I have ever had to do and continue to work on is to lead myself. You see, it's a lot easier to see the areas others need to work on. It's a lot easier to examine others strengths and weaknesses. It's a bit harder for us to be able to look in the mirror and see our own areas where we have fallen short. "Why?" you ask...well because most of us have the best and most sincere intentions. If you announce a new objective and you really think it's an objective that will support the ultimate goal, and then you fail...well you might say something like, "I really do believe in that objective but I just didn't have the time." OR "I support the objective, but there aren't enough hours in a day".

I think an great way to self evaluate would be to have set objectives on a daily or even weekly basis. Once the week has passed keep a rubric of all accomplished objectives and the ones that were not accomplished. Then reflect, if it was someone in your team, how would you rate them?

In education, if your teachers are evaluated on the use and differentiation of a specific instructional strategy, don't you think you should be knowledgeable in the effective use of instructional strategies and how to incorporate those strategies in differentiation?

Another way to self-evaluate as a leader is to put yourself in a team member's shoes. Ask yourself what you would expect or even what you would like to see in a leader. As a school administrator, I try to remember how I felt as a teacher. The support and understanding I needed. I make an effort to not forget that I am accountable and responsible for how I support , treat and engage with the staff I lead.

Being able to lead yourself takes self-awareness, know your own strengths and areas of weakness, be willing to acquire the knowledge you need to lead your team; self-goal setting, set goals and objectives, monitor growth and be open to revisions based on growth or lack of; self-motivation, love yourself and love what you do! If you don't then you are not going to be fully satisfied in your daily routine or life in general; positive self-talk, this is something I'm actually pretty good at (yeah I know it's kind of funny ha ha ha!); assertive communication, that means being effective in communicating your point while still being respectful of others points of views and stance; and the ability to receive and act on feedback, this one is probably the most challenging since receiving constructive criticism is not always easy. I have actually been told that I am open to constructive criticism or feedback. I am a true believer that no one is perfect, which includes me. I communicate that with staff and students. I have room to grow just like everyone one else. I don't mind being questioned about a decision and I am open to suggestions on how to improve. I am not above admitting to mistakes I've made, since we all make them. I like to learn, just like everyone else.

So look in the mirror and self-evaluate, you'll be a better leader because of it.


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