Wow! It’s been so long since I’ve written here, and there’s so much to share. However, in the interest of time, I will share what I believe is the most valuable lesson I have learned in the last few months. Disclaimer: this post is going to discuss some personal information about my life.
Anyone who knows me knows that when things get hard for me at home, I pour myself into my work. But the past month of my life, I haven’t been able to do that. I’ve experienced some of the deepest hurt imaginable, and it’s taken me three (3) weeks to even be able to talk about it. During this time, I’ve been leaning on my team in ways that I didn’t know that I could. On the outside looking in, others see a collaborative environment. They see me giving my team the opportunity to shine and show off their skills and abilities. They see a leader who believes in the capacity of everyone on the team to lead. THEY ARE EXACTLY RIGHT!! I would like to use this blog post to tell you more about what I see on the inside looking out.
My leadership style has always leaned towards servant leadership. My goal in life is to empower people to reach their full potential, both professionally and personally. As such, all of the decisions that I make on a daily basis align with that goal. In the fall of 2017, the initial work began with simply cross training everyone on the team. I had been in too many situations where there was only one person who knew the answer to a problem or how to perform a function, and that person was no longer around. Cross training was priority number 1. Priority number 2 was building capacity, both in skills and leadership. I have been actively working on priorities 1 & 2 for the past 12-18 months.
Fast forward to present day. I literally remember spending the 2nd weekend of January at a beach house celebrating the birthday of a dear friend. I experienced an emotionally traumatic event about 2 days after that. Everything since then has been a blur. Both at home and at work, I feel like I’ve been walking around in a fog. At home, I’ve admittedly been much more dependent on my husband. At work, however, no one has even been able to tell that anything is going on. The collaboration, shared leadership, etc. is so ingrained in the culture of our team that we didn’t miss a beat. We have still continued to do amazing work for our students, teachers, and campuses.
If my priorities had been different…if I were a different type of leader….this last 3-4 weeks would have been a disaster! Because of the work that we have been doing for the past 12-18 months, everyone was in place and everyone had the skills and tools they needed to be successful when called upon to lead. You never know where life will take you. I never know where life will take me. The one thing that I do know is that if we spend everyday taking steps towards reaching our goals, we will be ready for whatever comes our way. An old family acquaintance used to always tell me, “times of preparation are never wasted.” That has stuck with me throughout my life and throughout my leadership journey. I’m grateful for the lesson and the reminder.