Friday, March 29, 2013

#Slice2013: Day 26 of 31 - Languishing Leaders

I do not consider myself a natural leader. In the past, I would reluctantly agree to take on leadership roles when other, more equipped individuals, we unavailable. I preferred to follow, and my own insecurities prevented me from daring greatly and stepping into the arena. Today, I welcome opportunities to lead, and in most meetings, I'm the first to speak up. My solution oriented nature can be a bit overbearing at times, and I know I have a LOT to learn about the qualities of strong leaders.

This week, as our campus prepared and planned for a STAAR pep rally, I found myself reflecting on the importance of a leader's visibility and authority. I firmly believe the captain of the ship should take the lead when trying to rally the troops, so I quickly deferred the pep talk to our current administrator. She emphatically stated, "No, I don't do that. I contribute in other ways."

Her refusal to address the students shocked me, and as I thought back on the school year, I realized she has never once spoke in front of all the children. This puzzles me. She rarely address all of the staff, and it's evident she is much more comfortable in a small group setting. As a principal, she is constantly in the spotlight, and from what I can tell, she'd prefer to whither in the wings.

As I thought about this scenario, I found myself wondering how our strengths effect our successes or failures in the roles in which we serve. Can someone effectively lead, if they don't have woo or influence? Do our top five strengths change as we transition from one professional task to another? And should we consider switching jobs if our natural strengths do not match our roles?

Next to parenting, I think being a principal may be the toughest job in the world. I have no desire to enter administration, and since I've never walked in a principal's shoes, I shouldn't judge. Languishing leaders are people too. Maybe we all just need a Pep Talk.

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