As we dive head first into the reality (or nostalgia) of colored notebooks, sharpened No. 2’s and overstuffed lockers and backpacks, we can almost smell the scent of learning in the air.
As I find myself knee-deep in research for upcoming WERCshops, I remind myself that the best leaders are the ones who are willing to be the student and let the student be. It’s not about being the “expert” or the all-knowing. It’s about doing the work, bringing it to the learners and then listening and respecting their answers, insights and reflections. Only then, will we fully connect and inspire people to reach their highest ground and grandest potential.
We are all leaders. Whether you’re a leader in the classroom, in the boardroom, in the living room, or chances are, many rooms, here is the Grand Canyon, the Grandmaster Flash, the Grand Prix, of life’s greatest ABC’s:
Accountability: We have pressures. We have deadlines. We have very little time. We hold ourselves accountable, sometimes to a fault, but what about the other people involved? If we are consistently giving the students the answers, tackling all the client projects, or picking up all of the toys because it’s easier, we’re in a hurry, impatient or grappling with control issues (or lack thereof), then we are doing a major disservice to all involved and beyond. When we hold people accountable they are able to push themselves, stretch their limits and succeed beyond their narrow beliefs. Accountability is the bee’s knees of creating confident, self-assured and able children in our classrooms, employees in our work force and citizens in our communities. Give yourself a much needed 5 minute time-out and let them solve the problem, deal with the consequence, and just plain handle it!
Boundaries:Tricky thing here. Boundaries bring up a whole lotta muck that can call to the stage the deep-seated players such as the wonderful Rejection and equally enjoyable, Approval. We all deal. We may fall a little bit further on one side of the spectrum or the other. No matter where you fall, the mere thought of setting boundaries can make us duck into an establishment that allows for consumption of anything faster than we can chase the school bus around the block! And yet, as tough as they are to create, boundaries are needed now more than ever. When we want to make progress in our life (which, wild guess, that would be all of us!) boundaries need to be set – big time. The people who are still around afterwards are the ones who matter and want to see you succeed. That is not up for debate, that’s the doggone honest truth. Need some help in boundary baby stepping? Here’s a real and imperfect video to help you out! Need more help? We totally get it – here you go! Boundaries are super tough for a lot of people (this girl, included), and at the same time, they are what make you stand stronger and deal with difficult situations in your life a bit easier and in much much healthier ways. Win win for us all!
Compassion: The good news? Once you resurface from all of the sweat and tears of helping yourself and others out, you become more compassionate. Crazy, but true. By setting boundaries and holding people accountable, you are quietly showing yourself incredible compassion which naturally will find its way to everyone else.
We are all leaders somewhere in our life – often times in many places. How cool is it to know, that we have in our power, the ability to become even more awesome, bolder and caring just by committing to the grown-up ABC’s? I’m all for that! How about you?
“Every woman that finally figured out her worth, has picked up her suitcase of pride and boarded a flight to freedom, which landed in the valley of change.”
– Shannon Alder, writer