Sunday, March 5, 2023
The ability to say 'no' is important for effective time management. Leaders who are constantly saying 'yes' to new requests and demands can quickly become overwhelmed and burnt out. By saying 'no' to non-essential tasks or projects, leaders can focus their time and energy on the tasks and projects that are most important and have the greatest impact.
Saying 'no' can also help leaders to set clear boundaries and expectations with their team. Leaders who are always saying 'yes' to new requests or ideas may give the impression that they are always available or willing to take on more work, which can lead to unrealistic expectations or a lack of respect for the leader's time and resources. By saying 'no' when necessary, leaders can communicate their limits and expectations clearly, and encourage their staff to do the same.
Furthermore, saying 'no' can help leaders to avoid overpromising and underdelivering. Leaders who say 'yes' to every opportunity or request may find themselves spread too thin, and may not be able to deliver on all of their commitments. This can damage their credibility and reputation, and can harm their team's morale and productivity. By saying 'no' when necessary, leaders can avoid overcommitting themselves or their team, and can ensure that they are able to deliver on their promises and commitments.
Of course, saying 'no' is not always easy, especially for leaders who want to be seen as helpful, accommodating, in alignment with district initiatives, and/or team-oriented. However, it is important for leaders to recognize that saying 'no' is not a sign of weakness or selfishness, but rather a sign of good judgment and strategic thinking. Leaders who are able to say 'no' when necessary can demonstrate their ability to prioritize, manage their time effectively, and communicate their expectations clearly.
In the context of the Ontario Leadership Framework, the ability to say 'no' can be seen as connected to "setting directions and priorities." Effective leaders are able to set clear goals and priorities, and to make strategic decisions about how to allocate their time, resources, and energy. Saying 'no' when necessary is important because it allows leaders to make informed and strategic decisions about what to focus on, and what to delegate or decline.
In conclusion, saying 'no' is an important aspect of effective leadership, and should be embraced and cultivated by leaders who want to prioritize their time, energy, and resources, set clear boundaries and expectations, and avoid overpromising and underdelivering. By saying 'no' when necessary, leaders can demonstrate their ability to make strategic decisions and communicate their expectations clearly, and can ensure that they are able to deliver on their promises and commitments.
Monday, January 9, 2023
Vulnerability is often seen as a weakness, but in reality, it takes a great deal of courage to be vulnerable. It involves being open and honest about your weaknesses, fears, and insecurities. When leaders are able to embrace vulnerability, it can create a sense of authenticity and humanity that is essential for building trust and connection with others.
One of the key benefits of vulnerability in leadership is that it allows leaders to be more approachable and relatable. When leaders show that they are not perfect and are open to feedback and learning from their mistakes, it encourages team members to do the same. This creates a culture of continuous learning and improvement, rather than one of fear and perfectionism.
Vulnerability can also help leaders to be more empathetic and understanding towards their team. When leaders are able to share their own struggles and challenges, it can create a sense of solidarity and encourage team members to open up and share their own experiences. This can foster a sense of connection and support within the team, which can have a positive impact on morale and productivity.
Of course, vulnerability is not a one-size-fits-all approach. It is important for leaders to find the right balance and to be mindful of the context in which they are sharing their vulnerabilities. For example, a leader may choose to be more vulnerable in a team meeting or one-on-one coaching session, rather than in a public presentation.
Vulnerability is an important aspect of effective leadership. It allows leaders to be more approachable, relatable, and empathetic, which can foster a sense of trust and connection with their team. By embracing vulnerability, leaders can create a culture of continuous learning and improvement, and build strong and supportive relationships with their team.
Friday, January 6, 2023
Self-reflection allows you to step back and assess how you’re doing, both as an individual and as a leader. It helps you identify areas where you’re excelling and areas where you may need to improve. By actively engaging in self-reflection, you can become more self-aware, which can lead to better decision-making, improved communication, and stronger relationships with your team.
One way to practice self-reflection is to set aside dedicated time for it on a regular basis. This could be a daily or weekly ritual, or even just a few moments at the end of each day to reflect on your actions and thoughts. You can also try journaling, podcasting, or sketch-noting, which can act as helpful tools for organizing your thoughts and tracking your progress over time.
It’s important to be honest with yourself during self-reflection. This means acknowledging your strengths, as well as your weaknesses. By acknowledging your weaknesses, you can work to improve upon them and become a more well-rounded leader.
Another aspect of self-reflection is considering how your actions and behaviors impact those around you. As a leader, your actions and decisions have a ripple effect on the team you work with and the overall culture of your organization. By reflecting on the impact of your actions, you can make sure you’re leading in a way that aligns with your values and the values of the team.
In addition to personal growth, self-reflection can also improve your leadership skills and increase your effectiveness as a leader. By regularly reflecting on your actions and behaviors, you can gain insights into what’s working and what’s not, and make adjustments as needed. This can help you become a more agile leader who is able to adapt to changing circumstances and lead a team through challenges.
Self-reflection can also help you stay grounded and centered as a leader. It’s easy to get caught up in the demands and pressures of leadership, but taking the time to reflect on your values and priorities can help you stay focused and true to yourself.
By engaging in self-reflection, leaders can develop their understanding of their own leadership style, strengths, and areas for improvement. This in turn can help them to become more effective leaders, as they are able to make informed decisions, communicate effectively, and build strong relationships with their team.
Self-reflection is also connected to other competencies within the Ontario Leadership Framework, such as emotional intelligence, which involves being aware of and managing one's own emotions and the emotions of others, and continuous learning, which involves seeking out opportunities to learn and grow. All of these competencies work together to support effective leadership and help leaders to adapt to changing circumstances and lead their teams through challenges.
Overall, self-reflection is an important component of the Ontario Leadership Framework, as it helps leaders to understand themselves, build self-awareness, and continually improve their leadership skills.
Self-reflection is an essential practice for any leader. It allows you to become more self-aware, improve your leadership skills, and stay centered and true to your values. By setting aside dedicated time for self-reflection and being honest with yourself, you can continue to grow and evolve as a leader. So, it is always good to make self-reflection a regular part of your leadership routine.
Saturday, December 3, 2022
I totally disagree with faking it until you make it. How about you acknowledge where you are and make a plan that will help you learn and/or understand something better. Here is a great article on alternatives to faking it until making it.
Saturday, November 26, 2022
Monday, June 27, 2022
It has been a great school year for me. In my role as a re-engagement teacher I got to visit and work at many different schools, meet lots of new people, and teach a lot of awesome kids.
I collaborated my guts out - in a very different way that how I did it when I was a classroom teacher.
I communicated with many people, in a variety of ways.
I had to think critically about many different and difficult situations which lead to innovative and creative solutions (some worked and some didn't).
I was constantly learning. Learning about policies and procedures, culture (big c and small c), how the "system" works (or at least how it is perceived to work), mental health, and about myself.
I grew in my Faith as I talked the talk and walked the walk. I made a point of being aware of my spirituality and made it a priority. Keeping my faith front and center helped ME and made me a better teacher for my students, consultant for the teachers I worked with, and a guide for parents.
I led. Using the Catholic School Level Leadership Framework as my guide, I took every opportunity to lead and learn more about leadership.
In terms of setting directions, I was part of a small team (we called ourselves the Unicorn Sqaud) that created the framework for our Board's re-engagement initiative. We identified short and long term goals, created high expectations for ourselves, and communicated our vision and goals to those we worked with and served. Using Ministry expectations, we established processes that would maximize resources and help students out in the best possible ways.
With respect to building relationships and developing people, I provided support and demonstrated consideration for the staff members I worked with, modeled the values and practices that consider what is best for student learning and well being, and built trusting relationships with and among students, staff, and parents.
In terms of developing the organization to support desired practices, I helped build a collaborative culture with the staff I worked with, worked with people in a way that demonstrated the value I place on their thoughts and opinions to help build collaborative practice, established productive relationships with families and other stakeholder in the educational community, and maintained my presence and involvement as a safe and healthy one.
With respect to improving the instructional program, I provided teachers and parents with instructional support, monitored progress of student learning and improvement, and communicated effective relevant information about effective programming to students, teachers, and parents.
In terms of securing accountability, I continued to build a sense of internal accountability in myself with respect to how I managed my professional time and ensured that when I was not satisfied with my work I would consult with my co-workers, supervisor, and mentors in order to find satisfaction and pride. When it comes to meeting the demands for external accountability, I provided the appropriate reports to my Principal and Supervisory Officer when requested to do so. Also, I shared my plans and process with people connected to the students I was working with - the students themselves, classroom teachers, special education teachers, guidance counsellors, vice principals, principals, and parents.
It was an amazing year of learning and leading. I worked with students in grades 7-12 this year and look forward to continuing to work as a re-engagement teacher next year working with students in grade 7-9.
A successful school year, in no small part due to the support of my wife and children, my mentors Principal Carla Santomero and Principal Paul Gladding, and Father Cruz, pastor at St. John's Catholic Church.