Water, water, everywhere!
MVP: How can we fill our leadership tanks now to have extra power when we need it later?
This daily message from Seth Godin talks about how New York has thousands of apartments with very large water tanks on the roofs of apartment buildings. The tanks fill slowly using small, efficient pumps, and then allow large volumes of water to flow out in the mornings, maintaining water pressure without resorting to expensive heavy-duty pumps.
This idea, of efficiently storing capacity to discharge at high demand times has me thinking about leadership.
Can we do that? Can we store up something so that we can release it later?
Here are some ideas:
I’m sure you can think of some other ways we can efficiently build some excess capacity for high-demand times. Please share them with me by replying to this email here!
How do you show up?
MVP: Be clear about yourself and your leadership, be okay with not being okay, and love on yourself.
Last Friday I shared some words from Craig Martin. Our podcast episode releases this afternoon at 3 PM EST, so I thought it would be appropriate to share one more thing:
“Be kind to yourself in your journey. It is important to ask yourself questions, interrogate, get real clear about who you are, where you are, what’s important to you and how you show up. But be okay in transition, be okay with not being okay, but consistently love on yourself.”
It is too easy to put our heads down and do the work, and in the process to lose focus on why we do the work.
I began my interview with Craig by asking, “Who is Craig Martin?”
I’ll end today’s message by asking, “Who are you?”
I encourage you to sit with this question for a few minutes before putting your head down and going about your work.
Bonus: This is my favorite episode of the podcast to date, so here’s a link to a few of Craig’s quotes!
Can you choose?
MVP: Oftentimes, when we say we “can’t” do something, it us because we choose to do something else instead.
On a recent overnight backpacking trip, I ran into two gentlemen camping out to watch the full moon rise. I shared with them that I was a consultant who ran my own business. A few minutes later, we were talking about some of the really good hikes in our area (I live in the Southern Appalachia Mountains) and I lamented that I didn’t have enough time to get out and hike as much as I would like to.
One of the men looked at me oddly and asked, “You own your own business, so if you don’t have time to get out, whose fault is that?”
I’ve been thinking a lot about this, specifically about the limitations we place on ourselves. Not just because of our work, but other things that we prioritize in our personal lives and in work.
This week, I will be monitoring myself closely to hear how many times I say, ‘Oh, I can’t do this because…”
Next time you think “I can’t…”, pause. Then dig into it. Can you truly not do it, or are you choosing to do something else?
Who Are You With?
On Friday we will release the 50th episode of The Assistant Principal Podcast! To celebrate, we have chosen five of our favorite moments to share with you this week. Part of what makes these moments powerful is that they transcend education and are applicable to all leaders. We hope you enjoy the series!
E53 Who are you with Craig Martin (Unreleased)
MVP: Every day we have opportunities to help people… every single day!
Craig Martin is the Executive Director of the Bridge Boston Charter School in Roxbury (Boston), Massachusetts. He is also an incredible inspirational speaker. At the end of our interview, I asked him if there was anything else he wanted to say. Thankfully, his answer was yes…
“Stay connected to what it is that’s your calling, your passion, your zeal. Do it in ways that are graceful and exciting and inspiring for you as well as those around you and enjoy the journey, the highs and the lows, cause all of this is a gift, every day, every interaction, every moment is gift, regardless of whether or not we can recognize it like that.”
Oh, this says so much! It is especially applicable to the times we live in, times that can feel overwhelming and dark. Craig offers us the way out and the path to staying joyous. Every day, regardless of how we feel, we have opportunities:
We have that opportunity every day, good days and bad days.
Sharing our gifts is a choice we make every day. The danger is in not making the choice intentionally!
[You may have noticed this excerpt is from Episode 53, which has yet to be released. If you connected with Craig Martin's words, keep your eyes and ears peeled for this episode, releasing next Tuesday, August 23 at 3PM EST!]
Just Put the Key in the Door
E38 Just put the key in the door with Dr. Maddie Jurek
MVP: To overcome leadership fears, just take the first step into the space.
Dr. Jurek is an assistant middle school principal in South Carolina. We were talking about the challenges of observing teachers who have more experience or teach in a discipline that you don’t understand when Maddie said:
“The hardest part for me whenever I went in to observe those lessons, truly, was putting the key in the door and turning the knob to walk into the room. After I walked into the room I realized, I don’t have to focus on content here... I am here to focus on instruction, and there is a difference between instruction and content.”
There are two great lessons here. The first step to leadership is often overcoming our own fears. We can spend too much time thinking about the negatives and how we aren’t qualified or don’t know enough, but shutting down that negative thinking begins with stepping into the situation.
It is highly likely that we will at times be leading people who know more than we do about many things. We don’t need to be experts in everything to help our people grow. When we focus on leveraging what we know (assets) not what we don’t know (deficits), then we can support people.