Welcome to March 2020 Monday Moanin Thoughts. Hopefully this will be a positive and productive week for you and your staff. Positive and productive are always challenging during the month of March and coming up with an idea or focus for this blog is no different. After some reflection, I am posting five excerpts from my previous 342 Monday Moanin Thoughts. Hopefully they will be timely and helpful as you begin your week.
From May 31,2015 #160
One thing is certain, there are no easy answers during this difficult time. However, I would emphasize and remind you that Leaders Don’t Hide! It is critical to fight the invitation to disappear. When your organization is hurting it is important to be hopeful and I believe you can do this without acting Pollyanna. You can be respectful without cheerleading. You can be supportive without trying to fix things for people. You can be a listener and fight the urge to be a nervous over-talker. You need to be present in order to be compassionate.
From April 13, 2015 #153
My mentor always encouraged me to consider this time of year differently. Instead of looking at spring as the time to wind down, look at it as setting the stage for the next school year. Too often, many people who make up a school community, students, staff, administrators, and parents may want to just get the year finished. As leaders, we need to change this tone and commit to finishing strong and also build for next year. This week regardless of your role in your school community, focus on these three ideas to ensure a strong finish and positive launch to the upcoming year.
- Have high expectations for all. The end of the year is not about parties and celebrations. It is about learning. Focus on what is truly urgent and find the balance on ending and beginning of the year activities.
- Be well planned. Act with intentionality and purpose in everything regarding your organization and community. There is security for all when the plans are clear and communicated.
- Keep a positive and hopeful attitude. This time of year can be an emotional and exhausting time for all. Whatever your role, find the good stuff. It is there if you take the time to look for it.
From October 6, 2019 #336
This is a great time to refocus on some essential leadership fundamentals. During this week , practice the following:
- Pay attention. Begin with your learners and then move your focus to all other stakeholders. Ask yourself, what do they need and how can I help?
- Check for understanding. Don’t assume that stakeholders are following your lead or that they are reading your emails or listening to your directives. Use “one-legged conferences” or daily checkins to determine what needs to be reinforced.
- Be liberal with specific praise. Using general statements usually is insufficient to demonstrate recognition and appreciation. Use their names and do not shy away from public acknowledgement.
From March 4, 2018 #290
- Lead by taking care of the little things. Be well planned and organized for the week. John Maxwell writes; ” Don’t try to conquer the world until you’ve taken care of things in your own backyard.”
- Spend this week leading from your strengths. Reflect on what you do well and stay in that lane. Enhance your practice. Maxwell shares; ” Set your priorities and focus on your strengths today.”
- Lead with the right attitude this week. Lead with your glass half full. Your staff doesn’t need to hear you blame others for the challenges everyone faces. Take responsibility for your attitude. Maxwell reminds; “Life is full of surprises, and the adjustment of our attitudes is a lifelong project. The pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The leader adjusts the sails.”
From February 26, 2017 #243
Your staff may need direction and definitely your support during this time of year. Here are three areas for you to consider beating the blues.
Communicate a consistent message to your staff. I would suggest the focus of your message to be around teaching and learning. Reinforce, authentically the positive things that you are observing to your staff. Redirect them to those good things. for example, if your observe great connections between your staff and students, let them know you appreciate the effort.
- Be a good listener. Pay attention to what is being said and look for the opportunity to redirect the person to your message. Good people do not need a lot. A reminder and a gentle nudge will usually get them back on track. Be reminded they may need you to just listen.
- Ken Blanchard reminds us that there are three decisions that are made in all organizations. Mine, as the principal or leader, ours, as a staff or team, or yours as an individual. During this time of year create more opportunities to make more our decisions. This can really help in terms of getting your staff to work together and be more collaborative. Be reminded that we are stronger as a team, fight isolation.
Good luck to you as you tackle the challenges of beginning the long month of March. Have a great week and keep finding the good stuff.