Happy mid February Monday to all of you. My last blog challenged all of us to read ten minutes a day. So, I have taken the challenge and I have been reading Great Leaders Grow by Ken Blanchard and Mark Miller. I am half way through the book and I want to share some of my thoughts and takeaways from the initial chapters. This week I will share ideas from the first letter of the acronym GROW.
The main theme is that leaders have to be wiling to GROW. Blanchard and Miller write that great leaders make a choice to Grow in four areas. The first letter G is for Gaining Knowledge . This seems so obvious and yet leaders can get caught up in the distractions of the job. As a principal, it can be common to just react to issues that arise on a given day. If you believe that you are the instructional leader, gaining knowledge is paramount in that role. One way to accomplish this , is to self reflect and gain self-knowledge. The authors suggest that to maximize growths a leader reflect on: What are your strengths? What are your learning styles and preferences?What are your passions? How do you prefer to lead? What is your dominant style? Do your prefer to delegate or to coach? What is your personality type? What are the implications?
The next step in gaining knowledge is to focus on your staff and others in your organization.What are their hopes? Fears? Strengths? The more you know about them the better you can serve them. This knowledge is critical to building an environment of trust and collaboration.
The authors then discuss the importance of best practice in your industry and finally gaining knowledge in the field of leadership. Blanchard and Miller write that leaders can become complacent in the area of gaining knowledge. As a principal, I remember many times when I felt I couldn’t take on anything else. I was overwhelmed and lacked the energy to learn something new. I felt swamped. The authors suggest that ;“many leaders fail to gain knowledge because they have too much to do-they’re going too fast and trying too accomplish too much.”
Time will always be an issue for leaders. However to consistently gain knowledge as a leader, we have to make a commitment to growing ourselves. It is also critical to understand that that this is not a one time focus, it is ongoing.
For the next week, challenge yourself to gain knowledge about your organization and yourself. What are you going to do? Lets get to work!
Thought of the Week:
Leadership is not about position, its about influence. Blanchard and Miller