Sunday, July 31, 2016

"My Bad"- An EPIC Fail!

Inspired by fellow #Compelledtribe blog members, Jon Harper and Starr Sackstein, and Jon’s podcast, My Bad, our tribe of edubloggers are taking on the leadership challenge to “Mess up, fess up.” The hardest part of this challenge was to choose which mistake to write about and share. I make mistakes all of the time! Since so much of my focus is on learning to be a better leader, I thought I’d write about one of my epic fails as a “leader”.

As a new teacher, I had the opportunity to be a team leader, and I made a huge mistake! I made being the “leader” more about me than those I was supposed to serve. My motives were selfish. I wanted to prove my leadership ability and competence as if it were some sort of competition. I failed to trust my team. I neglected to see their strengths. Instead of learning from their experiences, I judged them and didn’t give them credit for the good things happening in their classrooms. My whole mindset was, “If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself!” I was not patient, and I became more of a micro-manager. UGH! The thought of that just makes me cringe! My ego also got the best of me. I “knew” I was a good teacher and the accolades and recognition only fed my own ego. Perhaps I was an okay manager, but I was a terrible leader! I needed some serious intervention!

Life is a good teacher. The challenges we face and overcome mold and shape us. I’ve learned a lot about leadership over the years. And the more I learn, the more I realize I need to learn.

Leadership is not about a title, position, or authority. Leadership is about influence and serving others. It’s about inspiring greatness, empowering, and developing more leaders. Leadership is about learning and growing together. Leadership is about people.

I learned a painful lesson about what leadership is and isn’t. I’m lucky that I learned it quickly and early in my career. But, I have so much more to learn! I’m grateful that I’m surrounded by leadership giants who are teaching me through their modeling, vulnerability, and commitment to helping others (me) grow. 

1 comment:

  1. Sandy, such important learning that never stops. Every time I am in an "official" leadership position I realize that my job is to empower others not give myself more power. In fact, I see that as my role whether or not I am in a stipend position as a teacher leader. If we are honest with ourselves, then everyone should be a teacher leader. We all have strengths to offer our colleagues. Sometimes we make mistakes; I know I did/do, but it's the learning around it that's important. Thanks for sharing.