There are so many aspects of leadership that no one tells you about. They don’t write about it in a book, it’s not discussed in class, and it is most definitely NOT one of the ridiculous scenarios that you have to write about in class. We made it through August pretty well considering that Hurricane Harvey dumped a bajillion gallons of water in the greater Houston area and left a monstrous path of destruction in his wake. And believe it or not, I was semi-prepared to deal with that. However, I was not prepared the death of a team member the week after the storm hit.
During a time when our city is trying to recover and rebuild, a time when so many coworkers are experiencing devastating losses, how do you lead them through the passing of a legend in our field and in our school district? I have struggled with whether or not I got it right, or if I’m still getting it right. But one thing is for sure, people are looking for me to lead…whether I wanted to or not. Standing up in a meeting and basically eulogizing the person who led every meeting in that room in the past…someone who was far too young and taken away from us far too soon…that was one of the hardest things I have ever done. It’s definitely top 3 in my professional life. In my personal life, I can say that the pains and hurts of the past actually did a great job of equipping me for this task. I’m used to loss. I’m used to remembering the good times and using those memories as fuel to move forward. It was different to try to lead others through that process. I’m grateful for the mentors who helped me navigate through this terrain and come out on the other side. I know that this isn’t over, but I’m happy to have survived the beginning of this ride.
Now, as I begin to put the pieces back together and attempt to move forward, I’m looking forward to getting back into a routine. I am trying to establish some procedures & policies that will help in the interim. The position will be filled, and a new person will join our team in January. I’m looking forward to that for many reasons, but the number one is simply a return to normalcy. Thank you for bearing with me as I get it back together.