Being a leader means being willing to continually grow and develop.

“The best leaders are continually learning.  They see all experiences as learning experiences.  But there is a catch. Unexamined experiences don’t produce the rich insights that come from reflection and analysis.  If you want to become a better leader, you need to study your own performance and become more conscious about the choices that you are making and how you are acting on your intentions.”  The Leadership Challenge Workbook by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner  2003 Jossey-Bass page 5.

Think about yourself as a: communicator,

builder of trusting relationships,

person who has a vision or a dream who can clearly convey the image to others,

manager who can follow a project from concept to completion,

responsible member of your organization,

capable and caring person,

person in service to the common good,

collaborator, and/or

any of the many other ways that leaders show up.

Consciously reflect on yourself as a communicator, builder, visionary, manager, collaborator, etc.   Think about how you intended to act and how you may have been perceived to be behaving.  Develop your insights about yourself and your areas for growth.  Being a leader means being willing to continually grow and develop.

As Kouzes and Posner say: “Unexamined experiences don’t produce the rich insights that come from reflection and analysis.” And: “If you want to become a better leader, you need to study your own performance and become more conscious about the choices that you are making and how you are acting on your intentions.”

Comments

  1. David Tebo

    I really like the idea of reflection and don’t feel that I do it deeply enough, often enough. I have been working to be cognizant of it more recently as I am asking my teachers to reflect on their practice to improve their instruction and delivery to meet diverse student needs. I have to model what I expect from those around me.

  2. Porter Palmer

    @David, I was just talking to a Superintendent about that very thing today. She was sharing how she uses Wikispaces and that one of the reasons she took time to learn how was so that she could model her own expectations.

  3. David Tebo

    Thanks Porter. That is one of the reasons why I try so hard to continue to learn all I can about being a better leader, better teacher, better person, for that matter. If I, as the head of an organization, don’t model what I expect my team to model I have a very difficult time generating critical mass for any sort of fundamental change in our system of education.

    I love to learn, but I love to learn with other educators even more. As we become more and more connected through the digital age, we the leaders can’t prepare anyone for the future if we stand on high and spout theory. Traditionally we have known that we want application and synthesis to dominate our student and teachers learning, while from the highest level, leaders get farther and farther away from that practice. We ask teachers to individualize instruction for students and then we offer one size fits all PD.

  4. Jerry Jennings

    I am tickled that the two of you responded to the probe and to each other.

  5. Doni Pummell

    Reflection is very important; however, this piece reminded me that we must also ask others as well. The importance of keeping in touch and in tune with those that you are communicating. Do they hear you as we wish to be heard? Do you know how you are perceived? To me this is all aspects to be considered in reflection on practice:). Doni

Continuing the Discussion

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