Leadership is never about “one.” It's about tapping into the genius of the group. Leadership is about working collaboratively to achieve a mission based on shared values and goals. It’s about giving credit to the collective group when things go well, but taking the blame when things do not.
Leadership is not about power, positions, and titles. It is not necessarily about being the most charismatic, motivational, speaker. The people that I most admired for their leadership capabilities as I grew up were the people closest to me that day in and day out served others without fanfare or recognition. If there were a need, these heroes of mine would step into an uncomfortable spotlight to advocate for a person or cause, and then step out of the spotlight to let others shine. They were leaders to me (and still are) because of their example not because of their speeches.
Being a school leader means having high expectations for everyone but especially for myself. A leader is one who is continuously learning, improving, and questioning. I think it's essential for school leaders to take risks, be transparent, and to model a growth mindset.
Leadership, to me, is also being able to envision the possibilities. Our schools need to move beyond the 20th Century model. A leader must ask the questions that will spark creativity and innovation. And then, clearly communicate the school's mission and vision to the greater school community.
A school leader moves the good school to a great school. When I have the opportunity to lead a school, I'd like to step it up even another notch. Make the great school a phenomenal school, a model school, where other teachers, leaders, business partners, parents, and community members can come and learn. Why not?
It's an exciting time to be in education! There's so much work to do!