We love a great book. And we love a great book that gives the leader in each of us a place of rest and focus. Our recent read – and the one that we challenged those at Allerton Hill to read – hits that mark. It’s titled “The Unfinished Leader: A School Leadership Framework for Growth and Development” by Michael Lubelfeld, Nick Polyak and PJ Caposey.
Let’s take quick stock: Did you make a New Year’s resolution this year? Have you kept up with that new habit or taken steps to accomplish your goal? New Year’s resolutions highlight the fact that as humans, we are never “finished.” Now you can relax. Here’s why.
According to the book there is no best version of yourself; there is only the next version. To be a good school leader — or any type of leader for that matter — we must recognize that we are unfinished and not be content with the status quo. This is when we will see real change in our schools and communities.
So what can you do to be the next version of yourself and lead your school well? The authors say it’s all about the following:
- Building empathy. Empathy is the ability to place yourself in someone else’s shoes and feel the emotions the other person is experiencing. Leadership can be a lonely place unless you intentionally build professional relationships built on empathy rather than networking.
- Unearthing inequity. Particularly in education, inequity surrounds us — from the clothes students wear to their school supplies and the cars they drive. Students’ access to food and technology throughout the pandemic are two more recent examples of how, as leaders, we must think outside the box and find ways of making the school experience more equitable for all.
- Adapt. Each one of us is unique. We have strengths and weaknesses and it is in recognizing these and our blind spots, and adapting as a result, that you can become the next best version of yourself.
- Take care of yourself. Great leaders know that to take care of others well, you cannot sacrifice your own self-care. “The Unfinished Leader” shares many pearls of wisdom relating to self-care such as:
- how many of the techniques people use to relax actually amplify their stress while positive relationships decrease stress,
- the simple wellness technique of SEED (Sleep, Exercise, Eat Smart and Drink Water), and
- how seeking the concept of work-life fit versus work-life balance will lead to a better you.
- Communicate well. Building a brand is not about self-promotion. It’s about “unabashedly telling your truth and sharing your story.” To do this, you must share your messages often and via as many channels as possible.
Leadership is a process, not an event. That’s why today, part of being our next best version means sharing this book with you and working on today’s SEED. Share with us what works for you in being your next best self.
Allerton Hill Communications is here to help tell the story of how your district shows empathy, is unearthing inequities and is adaptable. Contact us today!