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Showing posts from August, 2018

Resisting the Idol of a Title

“Leadership is not about titles, positions or flowcharts. It is about one life influencing another.”  ― John C. Maxwell

Titles. They define us in ways that we don't even choose at times. Simply having "Principal" behind my name carried connotations for people based upon their experiences that created barriers of which I may not have even been aware. One of my favorite experiences in my most recent chapter as a high school principal was when people came into the main office and chatted with me for a bit prior to knowing who I was.  When I introduced myself as the principal, there were many noteworthy reactions, but many tied to the fact that I didn't look like their principal growing up. This usually followed a description of a male advanced in age with few follicles atop his crown, and it always left me feeling a sense of accomplishment for simply existing to shatter their paradigm of how a high school principal should present. The title of principal can create a lin…

Sometimes Leadership is Showing Up

Sometimes leaders do what they dread because they know they must show up in the dark places and be the light for others. It's easy for anyone to be present or even join in raucously when the banner is flying, energy is pumping, and smiles are wide with euphoria. True tests of leadership exist in the spaces less desirable. The temptation to check out of the ugly experiences of life can be great, thinking that maybe nobody will notice because the spotlight rarely shines in the more challenging spaces to which leaders are called. In fact, our most austere moments as leaders often evolve from the choice to show up where many would honestly rather not. But we do. And that's what separates us. 
Today, I shared an experience with other such leaders who dared to enter into the darkness of a family's grief. The funeral of a former student. And it never gets easier. In fact, I would venture to say that with my advancing age comes the experience of multiple losses, and while that may…