Moving Forward by Focusing on the Positive

Leadership is working with others.  Obviously.  Otherwise it wouldn’t be leadership.

As a new school year starts your work with others and especially with those who report to you will be a measure of your success.  It has been my experience that each of us can always improve our relationships and our communication skills.  Continual improvement is a necessity for leaders.

As a leader interested in advancing the integration of technology into learning opportunities for all students both: recognizing the contributions of staff by showing appreciation for individual excellence and celebrating the values and victories of the staff and students by creating a spirit of community make sense.

James Kouzes and Barry Posner in The Leadership Challenge, Fourth Edition, Jossey-Bass, 2007 (p. 26, 279 – 332) write about what they see as the “commitments of leadership.”   Two of the ten commitments they identify are:

“Recognize contributions by showing appreciation for individual excellence” and “Celebrate the values and victories by creating a spirit of community.”

The concept of recognizing contributions is not likely a new concept.  And because we know this is important we frequently think about what we are already doing to recognize others with pride.  My challenge to you is to plan to do more.  Being intentional about finding new ways to appreciate the work of others is always worth the effort.

To further explain the second of these concepts Kouzes and Posner write, “Celebrating values and victories together reinforce the fact that extraordinary performance is the result of many people’s efforts.  By celebrating people’s accomplishments visibly and in group settings, leaders create and sustain team spirit; by basing celebrations on the accomplishment of key values and milestones, they sustain people’s focus.” Celebrations are important to progress.  Consider celebrating the success you are making toward a shared goal – rather than waiting for the goal to be achieved.

Focusing on the positive while working with others is good leadership.


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