“I’ve come to realize that I’m not the only one that wishes
I had more capacity to do the things I really want to do as a leader.”
I said that on a post about Leadership and Management back in October. Two weeks ago, as my school year for the Inquiry Hub was coming to a close, report cards for Coquitlam Open Learning were going out, students were scrambling to get last minute marks to universities for their online courses, and summer school prep was under way, not to mention an onslaught of emails… I’d have to say that I had one of the busiest weeks of my life. There simply wasn’t enough time in the day!
This reminded me of a conversation that I had a while back with a friend and mentor, where he spoke about, “Stuff, not people.”
“Stuff, not people.”
“Stuff, not people. When things get really busy, and you can’t do everything, things will ‘fall off the back of your truck’. When that happens, make sure that it’s stuff, and not people.”
After a meeting a couple weeks later, I shared this thought with another friend. Her response was, “The problem is, all I’ve got left on the back of my truck is people.”
I totally understood where she was coming from, but I do think that it is actually the ‘stuff’ that makes us feel like we can’t get to ‘people’… if organizational demands were not so high, maybe our ‘wish list of priorities’ could actually feel like and be priorities.
I’m not sure if it is just my personal capacity, or if it is the role of an administrator in this day and age, but I’m really struggling with how much of my job is not about educational leadership, and how much of it is more managerial and even secretarial in nature. It is interesting to me that although I love my job, and there is nowhere I’d rather be an administrator right now, (I’ve actually requested not to be moved for at least 3 more years), I’ve still had a few times this year where I’ve seriously considered going back to be a teacher.
One of the things that has fallen off the back of my truck is my social media presence. I have read, tweeted, blogged and shared less in the last year and a half than I have since I started blogging. Part of me thinks this is ok, after all, this is ‘stuff and not people’, but another part of me recognizes that this actually makes me less of an educational leader. When I’m engaging in meaningful conversations online; when I’m reading and then synthesizing ideas on my blog; these are the times that I’m excited about being an educational leader. These are the times when I’m asking compelling questions, engaging in learning conversations, challenging myself into action, and loving my role as an educator and as a leader.
So how do I fit it all in? The reality is that I don’t want anything falling off the back of my truck. I want to have the capacity to effectively meet the managerial aspects of my leadership position AND also provide effective educational leadership. So how do I build capacity here? What are people doing to help them make their role as a leader more about what they want it to be? What strategies work? And how do people ‘find the time’ to do the things they really want to do?