Prepare to be Misunderstood

Great leaders are often misunderstood. This is certainly true in a school setting.  Lean in the direction of being too top-down and folks will feel that you're not being collaborative enough.  Lean in the direction of constructivist leadership and you'll be accused of being too soft.

Prepare to be misunderstood.  School leaders have to learn this essential truth.

Andy Stanley's book, Choosing to Cheat articulates the skill it takes to put first things first and manage your schedule with laser-like precision.  You'll have to ask:

  • what 2-3 things can I do best for the sake of my organization? 

This isn't an ego trip as you answer the question. Rather, it's about being very clear on what you bring best to your school.  

For me, the best things I can bring are: planning, writing, speaking, Board work and meeting with people.  

This means that the following have to take a back seat: unnecessary meetings, day to day management and external commitments that don't leverage my skills.

It also implies that you're going to have to get good at saying "no".  Take today for example, I was scheduled to attend a college planning event for 100 people.  I'm obviously not there since I'm writing this blog post!  I made a decision to commit to things where my voice would be heard more clearly rather than in a sea of 100 people.  They don't really need me if they have 100 others to participate and I can focus on school-related projects instead.

So... what 2-3 things are you best at?  How ready are you to be misunderstood as you execute those 2-3 skills?