Being a Courageous School Leader

9 Jul

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As Brené Brown says, “You can’t get to courage without rumbling with vulnerability.” This means having the courage to show up fully when you can’t control the outcome. It’s about being vulnerable in your relationships inside and outside the workplace.

Vulnerability feels like being excited and afraid all at the same time. You feel you must do or say something, yet the inner voice you have tells you it might not be safe to do so. It takes vulnerability to delay action and step into a coaching conversation to help a team member find their own answers.

As a school leader I constantly need to work on stepping into tough conversations and providing honest and productive feedback, which requires this mindset. When it comes to providing feedback, I reflect on the following:

  • When you focus on clarity, you increase trust and decrease negative attitudes. Being clear creates more connection and empathy. Clarity also creates a boundary that allows the other person to decide what to do with the feedback.
  • Understand who you are and what makes you tick. When you’re triggered, do you try to control the situation, protect yourself or start people pleasing?

Being prepared and getting clear on what you believe and check that your intentions, words, thoughts and behaviors align with your beliefs. I name your values by writing them down and then identify core behaviors that represent how you might live those values. If they do not meet, then I am off course?

I observe courageous leaders who live their values instead of just talking about them are never silent about hard things. As a leader, I must be aware of what is going on around me. You must realize when to act and know that sometimes you need to act in difficult situations. It takes courage to recognize these opportunities for leadership and to set an example for your team. Making decisions that honor your values will be tough because doing the right thing is rarely easy.

Being a trusting and trustworthy leader means being someone people can count on to do what you say you will do, including acting within your competencies and limitations. Own your mistakes and make amends. Accountability means that when there is an error, you’re willing to ask yourself, “What part did I play in this?”

Enjoy Term 3.

 

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