What Are You Good At?

The 2013-2014 school year has come to an end! Symbolically, the school doors close and those wonderful students won’t be seen again until August or around Labor Day for those schools in the north. Numerous Facebook comments have been posted by school leaders and teachers counting down the days by wearing numbered shirts and using countdown clocks. One teacher did a countdown of how many more times the snooze button on her alarm clock would be pressed. As sad as we are to say goodbye to our students and staff, the summer allows us an opportunity to have an extended break and a change from the hectic pace of school administration. It is a time to recharge our life batteries.

At the recent Leadercast 2014 Conference, Andy Stanley recommended that leaders should stop, pause and take some time by themselves and their leadership teams to answer the following questions:
Who else should be sitting at the table with us as we pause and assess what we do?
What gauges (activities, actions, information, etc.) should we be using to measure our progress or failures?
Where in our organization are we producing energy and excitement?
Who in our organization isn’t keeping up?
Where do I make the greatest contribution to the organization?
What do I do really well?
What should I stop doing?

Knowing that it will soon be time to begin thinking about the new school year, consider asking yourself the following questions:

What will be different next year?
How will I better utilize my strengths?
What gauges will I use to measure progress?
How will I guide and support those who aren’t keeping up with what needs to be done?
How will I continue making contributions in my school community?
What do I do really well?
What should I stop doing?

By focusing on what you do really well, you can provide meaningful contributions to those who you lead and serve. As important as it is to know what you do well, it is also important to acknowledge what your staff does well too. Your leadership team has different strengths and they are better at some tasks than you. In a recent podcast on questions by Andy Stanley, he recommended you ask your staff the following question “If you were me what would you do differently?” This is a powerful question to ask your staff if you are willing to embrace what they do well. Recognizing and appreciating their talents provides an opportunity for you to delegate those tasks so that you can build upon what you do well. Andy summed up his discussion by asking this question “What do you do that only you can do?”

This pause in your life is also a good time to consider making new goals for yourself and your role as a school leader. Find a mentor who has been a school administrator, hire a coach who understands your role and can purposefully help you in taking ownership on your own growth and success.

Thank you for the impact you have made at your school this year.

Have a wonderful and relaxing summer, and recharge your batteries!