Lessons I’m Learning in Leadership

Well a lot has happened over the past year, and I haven’t blogged much really since leaving the classroom to become and Instructional Coach and now a middle school assistant principal. One thing I’m passionate about though is leadership and professional growth. When I accepted the role as AP at Eisenhower Middle School this past summer I decided to write down lessons I was learning as I went. I’ve listed them below! Some are redundant, I’m guessing because well, some lessons take more than one experience to learn! Through all these lessons I’ve learned about leadership, I’ve also learned a lot about myself and about other people.

Lessons I’m Learning in Leadership Semester One First Year Admin

2018-2019 School Year

Everything in a leadership position isn’t enjoyable, but consider others and use it as a chance for God to grow and develop you.

One of the worst things a leader can do is try to have their hand in everything.

Some decisions aren’t always popular and people will express that in their demeanor… Don’t take it personally!

How you phrase things is critically important when delivering a thought.

Do your best, knowing that you’ve done everything you can.

In the midst of conflict, don’t shut down.

Keep your composure.

Before you speak, consider: Will it hurt or help your testimony for Christ? Will it help or hinder your influence?

Be mindful of what you say and who you say it to.

Everyone is motivated differently. You gotta know people.

Don’t make things a bigger deal than what they need to be.

Just be real and be yourself. It’s okay to make mistakes as long as you learn from them!

Keep work-related stuff to work hours, it’s better for your balance.

When you’re calm, people around you are calm. And it’s just more pleasant that way!

When emotions are high, wisdom is low.

Don’t compare yourself to other leaders. God made us differently! And that’s fine! God made you to be YOU as a leader and them to be them!

Keep emails short.

Avoid blanket statements!

Don’t send emails on the weekends. Or texts.

How you respond when you’re misunderstood, misrepresented, or mistreated is important.

Speak with respect. Find common ground. Focus on Jesus.

You can’t control people. You can’t always control situations. But you CAN control yourself. Don’t let what you can’t control work you up and get the best of you.

Wisdom isn’t knowing everything, it’s embracing the things you can’t explain.

When people talk and you ask for responses, listen and acknowledge and affirm.

Support the staff.

Choose words wisely in emails.

Don’t aim for perfection. Aim for progress.

Communicate early and often.

Don’t be hasty.

Remember who you represent (Jesus).

A good attitude goes a long way.

Be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath, for the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. -James 1:19-20

There’s always more going on than what’s shown on the surface.

Rules are there for a reason.

You’re not always right.

Don’t jump to conclusions or assumptions.

It’s okay to disagree but there’s a proper way to disagree.

Not everything has to be addressed right away. Find the right time, the right tone, and the right attitude.

When having tough conversations, don’t forget to listen. And remember that all behavior is communication. What is the person saying? And what is the person NOT saying?

If you ask for feedback, honor the feedback.

Be concise through investigations.

Don’t say yes right away.

Honor and respect your authority.

Leaders need to be humble.

You need patience with those below you but you also need patience with those above you.

It’s okay to not respond right away so you can respond properly.

There’s always more to a story than what you think you know.

Don’t change things last minute; consider all that will be affected.

Stand for what you value.

If you don’t decide what’s important in your life someone else will decide for you.

Don’t let what should be mole hills becomes mountains.

Trust that people will be professional.

Don’t freak out right away, give things a chance, it’s not going to be perfect right away.

All behavior is communication.

Have confidence, patience, and remain CALM (with yourself).

Don’t major in the minor.

Go slow to go fast.

Our job isn’t to convince the critics, our job is to do our job.

Presentation matters.

Don’t just learn to live with criticism, learn to lead through it. There will always be critics.

Don’t base decisions off of ONE person.

If someone can do something 50% as well as you with momentum and upside, delegate it to them! Give away everything that someone else can do. The goal is to eventually do what only you need to do.

Meet people where they’re at.

If they’re asking questions that means they trust you.

Inquire before you advocate. Don’t advocate right away!

Stand by instruction.

Value others’ opinions.

Don’t give away too much in your facial expression.

Don’t laugh at unnecessary remarks, even if you think they’re funny.

Stay true to the purpose of school.

You don’t have to respond RIGHT away.

When you ask a question. Pause for an answer.

Don’t make a decision based on one person.

Relationships are the glue.

Sometimes you just HAVE to make a decision.

There are different TYPES of decisions.

How you say it matters.

Not everyone is passionate about what you’re passionate about.

Listen. Listen. Listen. AUTHENTICALLY.

Not everything (or everyone) is perfect.

The only person who will meet my expectations, is me.

Leaders aren’t always liked.

Lead from your feet not from your seat.

The 72-hour rule. (If something still bothers you after 72 hours then the issue should be addressed. Waiting 72 hours allots sufficient time to process your emotions and you will have the ability to approach the situation more rationally.)

Growth Principle 70-25-5

• Give 70 percent of your time to your areas of strength.

• Give 25 percent of your time to the areas you want to improve.

• Give 5 percent of your time to the areas of your weakness.

80-20 Rule

80% managerial stuff (6.5 hours)

20% to what you’re passionate about (1.5 hours)

Anxiety comes from trying to change what you don’t like, influence things you can’t change, or trying to explain something you don’t know. Don’t try to influence an outcome you can’t influence; (it gives you anxiety of what you can’t control!).

Proverbs 17:28 – if you have a problem being opinionated! Hold your peace! Close your mouth! Listen! Proverbs 18:13

You’re never more like Jesus than when you are humbly serving others.

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