I have been doing a little reading and reflecting on something I am passionate about –> Leadership. I just finished a book that one of my sons gave me for Christmas – The Greatness Guide by Robin Sharma. It includes advice for creating excellence in your personal and professional life. Many of the ideas contained within the book align with my beliefs. One chapter, in particular, includes a message I have tried to establish among the staff at Greystone. Sharma maintains that in order for an organization to get to greatness, every person on the team needs to see himself or herself as a leader.
While everyone needs to be a leader, not everyone needs to lead in the same way. That would be impossible. What is most important is that everyone within the organization needs to know their role; contribute their strengths and recognize that everyone needs to demonstrate leadership traits – regardless of their position.
What leadership traits should all leaders within the organization demonstrate? In my opinion, this is where the “official” leader of the organization is most needed – to set the example for what the beliefs of the organization should be. For me, this is the only “top-down” structure that needs to exist within an organization.The beliefs, or as Sharma calls them – leadership traits – that permeate a culture or organization are a direct reflection of what the “official” leader of that organization demonstrates through words and actions.
As the “official” leader of leaders at Greystone, I have a set of beliefs that I work hard to live out. I have shared these beliefs with my staff; however, more importantly, I hope I have put these beliefs into action, action that sets the expectation and example for all of the leaders at Greystone.
As the lead leader at Greystone, in no particular order, here are my top 10 beliefs:
10) Relationships, Relationships, Relationships! ~ People first…always!
9) Balance ~ Health & wellness first, family second, work third…this order is important.
8) Growth ~ We are all learners and we all have the potential to dream, imagine, create, innovate and grow. Setting goals, putting goals into an action plan and collecting evidence of growth along the way will help us continuously improve.
7) New Beginnings ~ We all make mistakes; mistakes are for learning and we must always recognize that everyone has the potential to change if given a fresh start.
6) Positive Energy is Powerful ~ We have the ability to create our reality through our thoughts and the way we interact with each other; as part of an inter-connected organization, we have the potential to be a negative or a positive influence on each other. At Greystone, our responsibility is to choose positive.
5) Communication ~ We must maintain open, honest, respectful communication among each other, our students and families, with the intent of doing what’s best for our kids.
4) Collaboration ~ When we build on the strengths and skills that each of our leaders can contribute, we are capable of creating far more powerful learning experiences for our school community than if we work in isolation.
3) Play Hard ~ Having fun and sharing laughter are what a healthy school community needs to re-charge in order to be our best for others.
2) Work Hard ~ Everyone needs to give their best; however, an individual’s best can vary depending on lots of other variables (i.e. health, family circumstances). My best is not the same as someone else’s best – this is an individual thing and we should not compare between each other.
1) I Believe in the Magic ~ Schools are amazing places, there is so much opportunity to be a part of something significant and special, as long as we remember to pay attention to all of the magic going on around us – be there, be present and be grateful.
Everyone is a leader at Greystone but not everyone is the same. What should be the same is the belief system that exists through which we carry out our leadership responsibilities.