MVP: Reflect on your priorities, presence, and permanence. Then share.
I ask you again, where are you on your leadership journey?
What priority will you focus on today?
Who will you be present for and help grow?
How will you avoid getting sucked back into the black hole?
I would be ecstatic if you would share your answers to any of those questions with me. It would totally make my day and would cost you only a minute or two. And if you want to make a request, for how I can better serve you, that would answer the third and fourth questions!
I would love to hear from you, so please reply to this email. We will both feel better.
The Daily Intention: Focus on the priority you identified. And reply to this email and help me grow!
Have a great weekend!
MVP: Manage your priorities. Be fully present. Build supports for remaining strategic.
How do we escape the black hole of urgency?
We stop managing time and start managing our priorities. That is the first step.
How do we move from being strategically reactive to being a strategic leader?
We focus on being fully present with others, and we begin growing our people.
How do we break the cycle of moving from strategic to urgent and back again?
The hard truth is that we don’t.
However, what we can do is build supports for ourselves to help us stay strategic more often and escape the urgent more quickly.
We never arrive. Leadership is always journey.
Isn’t that awesome?
The Daily Intention: Focus on the actions in italics that are most appropriate for where you are in your journey.
MVP: Being a strategic leader is not a one-way journey. It is a series of round trips of falling back into urgent mode and escaping again. And again. And again.
Yesterday I asked where you were in your leadership journey - if you were in the same place last year, and if you had a plan for change.
My questions were a bit misleading because I implied that the journey is linear and one-way, but that isn’t the truth.
Yes, some of you may be permanently stuck in the black hole of urgency.
And yes, some of you may be in stage two managing your priorities and being strategically reactive, but not quite been able to move to being a strategic leader.
For the rest of us, who have been able to practice strategic leadership, we know the journey is not linear, but cyclical. We dance in the different stages on different days or even within the same day.
On Saturday I wrote about my failure to adhere to the third principle of strategic leadership – progress instead of action. I made a simple thing complicated. I asked a colleague to share the link to The Assistant Principal Podcast with his assistant principals.
Instead of making progress by simply sending the link, I focused on action by creating a complicated document describing my email lists and podcast. After 45 minutes, I hadn’t sent my colleague the link and what I created was too complex for the intended task!
Does this sound like you?
The Daily Intention: Again, monitor the quadrants your activities fall into and at the end of the day reflect on where you are in your journey.
MVP: There are three stages of a leader’s journey. Which one are you in?
Back in September I did a webinar on escaping the black hole of urgency.
We looked at leadership as being a journey.
In the first stage of the journey, we blast off and move into leadership with aspirations of making a difference, serving others, and improving our organization. But early in the journey we get pulled off course and sucked into the black hole of urgency.
In the second stage, we implement key strategies for escaping the pull of that black hole, and we begin to get back on course.
In the third stage, we begin accelerating towards our goal by implementing the principles of strategic leadership (purpose not urgency, problems before symptoms, progress instead of action, people over tasks).
Pause and think:
The Daily Intention: Monitor what quadrants you are working in? Print off a copy of the Eisenhower Matrix here if that would help.
MVP: Acting out of habit can be ineffective when things change.
A year ago, we added a cabinet to our kitchen and rearranged where things were. The silverware drawer was moved from the opposite side of the kitchen to a drawer in the new cabinet, right next to the dishwasher.
We have lived in this house for 17 years and old habits are hard to break.
This morning when I went to put away a clean fork, I went to the drawer that it used to be in. I didn’t realize my mistake until I opened the drawer and saw spatulas and ladles.
We moved the silverware almost a year ago, and I am still defaulting to old patterns.
With a new situation, the old pattern doesn’t work.
I can’t speak to every profession, but in education things have changed. Our old patterns of teacher recruitment and development, and of student discipline aren’t serving us well. Things have changed.
This week, be mindful of what you do. Are you using old strategies that aren’t working?
Be mindful, listen. Look, and reflect.