So often I can get caught up in all the things that I have to do and who I have to be, and I completely forget my why and the things that truly make life worth living. The people around us and the relationships we have with those people are my why. In order to be my best, I try daily to surround myself with people who challenge me to be a better citizen, better educator, better parent, better spouse, better grandparent, just an overall better person. In order to surround myself with the right people; I must first know who I am. I must know my strengths, weaknesses, limitations, beliefs, values, and how others see me.
Recently, our administration team took the CliftonStrengths test and were given feedback on our top strengths, as well as “themes” and how these impact our work and personal lives. From these, we as a team were able to get to the core of how we each see life and work and how these themes effect how we function daily. It was really eye opening for me and the team. I learned that I do not mind problems nor do I mind solving them, and that I have faith that almost everything happens for a reason. I enjoy learning, developing others and have a strong belief in my purpose in life through my core values. I believe in building a strong team and holding us together, while remembering to allow others to be heard.
Others on our team shared similar beliefs and values, yet, how we connect with people and how we view problems and change were different. I am very much a big picture thinker, and some were more detailed oriented and do not like to act nor make a decision until every detail is laid out. We took that and reflected on the last two years and the work we have been involved in and discussed the implications of moving forward as a team. We were able to learn from each other and talk through how using our strengths while being mindful of our blind spots to lead, will positively impact our district. We intend to be our best versions daily and be the example for each other and all stakeholders.
We also discussed our individual goals and lessons learned from the results. My personal mission daily is to lead the change I expect, while being mindful of how others view who I am and what I believe. I have to remember to celebrate successes and give praise as well as give people the space to solve their own problems. At times my reaction to people’s concerns and frustrations are calm and seem passive; which can make them feel not validated. I will also be careful to make sure that when I am making decisions and strategic planning that this does not come off as criticism and I will acknowledge what is already working well. I will ensure that I learn from my past, live in the present, and allow my strengths and the strengths of others to drive decisions.
Each day is a blessing and a lesson. Taking the time to learn more about ourselves and each other has already had an impact on our team, and has given us a renewed daily purpose!