MVP: Pause and appreciate the short moments of beauty.
Last Friday morning as I was composing this week’s Strategic Leader Daily emails, I was treated to a wonderful sight.
I looked up and through our west=facing window and the trees were lit up like a golden spotlight was shining on them. I sat for a minute in awe of the simple beauty.
Rousing myself, I stepped outside to look east to the sunrise responsible for making my heart sing.
Just as I stepped out the door, the miraculous light faded away. It had been a product of the interplay between the morning sun and some uniquely positioned clouds.
And now it was gone.
Today’s intention: Flashes of beauty occur every day, but they are often fleeting, and even when seen can be under-appreciated. Think back on this week to those special moments, especially the ones which found you being fully present with another human being. Did you pause to appreciate the beauty of the moment and the gift of being able to work with such wonderful souls? Or were you too busy?
MVP: If you want to learn to run better meetings, read the message!
We have all been in bad meetings. If we are honest, we have all probably run bad meetings!
But what if we could be better?
I have some techniques, and I am good at running meetings, but I am not great.
Fortunately, I know someone who is great and, even better, she has volunteered to come on to The Assistant Principal Podcast and lead a live audience in learning how to run better meetings.
Michele Matoon is the Executive Director of the National School Reform Faculty. On April 18, from 4-5:30 EDT, she will train a group of 6-10 audience members as we record our podcast. If you would like to be a part of this exciting event, please email me immediately. The first eight people who contact me will get a seat at the virtual table.
And here is one tip for running a better meeting: Share a clear and actionable goal for the meeting prior to the event.
Today’s intention: Planning a meeting? What is the specific goal that needs to be achieved? Do all participants know what the goal is?
MVP: One way to improve how we support and grow people is to build more trust.
It should be so simple – you have your job to do, I observe and discuss with you how it is going, you help me understand the challenges and opportunities and we identify how I can help you continue to grow and develop. It should be so simple!
But it isn’t.
But perhaps most of all, it comes down to a lack of trust. After all, if I am observing and evaluating you, I hold power over you. For the system to work properly, you need to trust that I am on your side.
There is a process for building that trust and you can learn more about it by listening to yesterday’s episode of The Assistant Principal Podcast. My guest Craig Randall does a great job helping us understand something that should be so simple.
Today’s intention: Take a minute to reflect on your own growth. Consider times of rich development and stagnation. What was happening at those different times, and what role did your leader play in either helping or hindering your growth?
MVP: Tracking everything you do for a few days can yield some powerful insights.
For the next few weeks I’m guiding a cohort of assistant principals (APs) on a five-stage adventure going from urgent to strategic leadership and I heard some cool things that you might want to think about.
Last Thursday we had our debrief of Stage 1: Urgent Leadership.
The challenge for the week was to track everything that the APs did each day and to think about where those things fell in the Eisenhower Matrix. You can download a copy and description of the matrix here.
Three things jumped out to the APs:
Today’s intention: Consider tracking all you do, even if only for today. You might be surprised at what you find.
MVP: There is only so much we can do.
Last week I had a conversation with the wonderful Jeannette Butterworth, the Senior Consultant at WNC Nonprofit Pathways, an organization dedicated to building leadership capacity of non-profit leaders throughout Western North Carolina.
Jeannette shared with me a technique for organizing her day around priorities instead of time.
Jeannette portions her day using spoons. Each spoon represents a chink of energy, time, and attention. She allots herself five spoons a day, meaning that she can only handle five significant tasks a day.
Two meetings scheduled? That’s two spoons.
Working on a proposal? That’s another spoon.
In beginning her day, if she has more than five spoons’ worth of work, she knows it isn’t all going to get done.
Two other things to think about:
Here’s the power behind the technique: It forces us to manage our priorities, not our time!
Today’s intention: Think about the things today that will use your spoons. Do you have enough to get you through?