Leading from the Inside Out

Whenever I am in charge of others’ time, I feel a great sense of responsibility to make that time worthwhile and transformational. I don’t want to waste a single minute, and I hope the meeting or presentation is exactly what each person needs.

Every time a group of educators is gathered, there is an opportunity to lift them up, to inspire them to become more, to allow them to think in a different way, to help them connect. Whether it is a quick stand-up meeting or a full day of PD, every time we gather I am hopeful that they leave with an extra bounce in their step and at least a twinkle of an idea in their eye.

I have the opportunity to present at the MEMSPA State Conference this December, and I am so excited. I am nervous too…not nervous for the actual presentation, that will be fun. My nervousness stems from the fact that there will be many (I hope!) smart people in the room, and I am going to stand in front of them. I am not that smart…I am just a good thief, all my great ideas are stolen. My desire is to take the principals on a journey with me and my stolen ideas for that hour and fifteen minutes.

The journey will begin with laughter and connecting, and then we will think about our personal strengths as leaders. We will look at how change is motivated, the important role empathy plays in leadership, defining our school’s vision and why, and leading others through their strengths. The principals and I will set a goal for improvement from the list above and leave inspired and excited to get back to our schools. We will watch video clips, play a game, laugh and maybe cry together. There may even be prizes.

I relish this opportunity to become a better leader through this presentation. My session is called “Leading from the Inside Out” and although the title is vague, the message will be clear. Who we are inside as leaders is directly reflected in our work. The better we are at being empathetic, presuming positive intent, recognizing strengths in all staff members, being clear with the why behind all things, and understanding that change is hard, the better school leaders we are.

So the pressure is on, and the stage is set. This is the first time I am doing a presentation like this, and I certainly hope it is not the last. I cannot wait for you to join me (and Dave Burgess, Nell Duke, and Dr. Adolf Brown just to name a few) at the MEMSPA State Conference in beautiful Traverse City, Michigan. Here is the LINK to register.

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