I‘ve just started reading a couple of books quasi-simultaneously: Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire and The Speed of Trust by Stephen M. R. Covey. While both seem a little incongruous, both served points about leadership we often lose in the midst of ego-lifting and pontificating.
The trust of the people in the leaders reflects the confidence of the leaders in the people.
- Paulo Freire
The difference between a high- and low-trust relationship is palpable! Take communication. In a high-trust relationship, you can say the wrong thing, and people will still get your meaning. In a low-trust relationship, you can be very measured, even precise, and they’ll still misinterpret you.
- Stephen M. R. Covey
And in an instant, it came to me: I’ve been forgetting what real leadership looks like, and have been nervous about my upcoming opportunity for all the wrong reasons. Even with the leadership training I’ve had since I was in middle school, I forgot those principles because a) not everyone around me has the same ideas about leadership around me and b) I almost let the idea of being a leader in the midst of a staff much more venerable than I get in the way.
Then, something clicked.
I’m not sure whether it was the Jamaican sun toasting my shins or my switch to Raisin Bran in the morning, but I decided on a few tenets for myself:
1) I’m going to be courageous about everything and anything I do with my work at school.
2) I’m going to remain as positive and affable as possible in my work.
3) I’m going to communicate in a transparent and efficient fashion, letting those who have expertise share it and letting everyone in the conversation.
I don’t have these problems on a regular level, but it’s been said many times that I need to either enhance or enact on these qualities more often. My writing at this point in my life is stronger than my speaking (there were a couple of points in my life where the opposite was true), and the more I see on my plate, the more I realize how full and groggy I’m going to be after having my fill. Nonetheless, if I believe strongly enough in the mission of helping children excel in the school, then I need to do the best job possible in the role I’m filling.
And if everyone considers this as my true and only motive, then the aforementioned gossip, hate, and mischief will dissipate. After all, I’m as confident that they believe in this mission as much as I do. That’s important.
Mr. V, who’s on a mission …