There is something I talk about a lot with the various leaders I support. It's something I think has always been the number one job of any good leader and it's only more important now, given what's going on around the world as we cope with Covid19.
It's also something that I believe is a fundamental, absolute, bed-rock basic in the life of any human being who wants to be fulfilled, respected and successful. It's the thing that will keep you getting up in the morning with a spring in your step and the energy to meet every new challenge coming your way, on a daily basis.
So, what is it? What is the thing that I think is your number one job as a leader and the thing that will keep you jumping out of bed on a daily basis, ready to go, again?
It's your empowering context. What is the context for you and your life? Here's what I mean...
If I am putting down mortar and a brick, mortar and a brick, mortar and a brick what am I doing? Am I just laying bricks? Or, am I building a Temple, a Cathedral? Well, just laying bricks is not an empowering context... Building something lovely and special, is!
And, as someone who is an educator, you've got the most powerful of all contexts built right into everything you do... You are creating the future! You are absolutely changing the lives of the young people you support. I will never get a chance to thank the teachers and administrators who made such a huge, positive impact on my life... Mrs. Hill, DL Smith, Ms. Hust, the list goes on and on. So, let me, instead, thank you, in their stead. You made a difference for me that makes me cry as I write this and think about it. I hope you know in your heart of hearts that I am forever grateful to you, even though you might have had no idea of that, in the moment. If I could find you now I'd kneel at your feet and kiss your hands and cry with gratitude.
I say: If content is King, Context is Emperor. I know the content of any given day can be challenging and even frustrating. And, when you stay focused on your empowering context, those days become a little bit more fulfilling and you can still wake up the next day with a spring in your step.
So, are you in touch with your empowering context? Are you keeping your colleagues and those who follow you in touch with both yours and their own? And, when you're having a hard day, like all of us have been having from time to time lately, I encourage you to take a deep breath and remind yourself of the real why in why you do what you do. It isn't easy being in education, but that's not what you chose it for, anyway! You are here to make a difference. And, you do.