Let. It. Go.
We’re not talkin’ Frozen here, folks. We’re talkin’ shared leadership. It’s a must!
There may not be a more stressful time in schools than now. Just take a moment and consider all the different activities and initiatives consuming your energy and effort.
- Unmet learning targets…there’s so much yet to teach and LEARN!
- Onslaught of state and nationally mandated assessments…tis the season!
- Evaluations–you’re either getting one or giving one!
- Planning for next year–activity calendar, master schedule, professional development opportunities….they are calling–PLAN ME!
- Daily grind–Nuff said.
These are just the basic staples of this stressful and demanding time of the year. Throw on top of that your commitment to connection and staying regularly dialed into your Professional Learning Network via Twitter, @Voxer, and @SlackHQ (new tool for me, love it) and you’re probably feeling like this….
None of these responsibilities or commitments is any less important than the other and so many of them are roles that transcend choice and, simply put, must be filled. So what are we to do about all this?
Work harder! Wrong. We already are working our tails off, devoting maximum levels of time, energy, and effort.
Start saying “no” to new opportunities so you can keep life manageable? Sounds like a quick way to stagnate your professional growth. “Yes!” leads to risk-taking and new learning! We preach this endlessly in Twitter chats, right?
My suggestion…start letting go. The reality of life as an energetic, passionate, motivated, and already successful educator is this…we are inherent dangers to ourselves. How? We try to start doing X while still doing Y. Multitasking is a myth. Energy is no good if spread too thin.
We need to let go of roles and responsibilities that others can and are WAITING to do. Trust others and give them chances to take leadership roles off your plate. Maybe not the entree, but certainly a side, or two, or three.
By not letting go, you’re really saying…
- I don’t trust anyone
- I have no faith in the organization to sustain without me
- I am not committed to growing fellow leaders
Who wants to say that? None of us do, but our hoarding of leadership is saying just that loud and clear.
Please take a moment to consider what you can let go and who you can trust with a leadership role or responsibility that is a barrier for you right now.
- Teachers, maybe you can empower students as leaders and let them take the role of questioner or even assessment designer?
- Team leaders, maybe you can empower a peer by trusting him/her to head the next committee meeting?
- Principals, we are the guiltiest of this. Trust the teachers!!! They can lead the school to new heights if we trust them to do so. Let go, better yet, get out of the way!
Stop being a reservoir for more, and instead, start a steady stream of shared leadership. Let. It. Go. You’ll be a better leader for it.