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Feb 17

Chris Smeaton

Being instead of doing!

I’m a subscriber to the Leadership Freak. I love the insights I receive about leadership in under 300 words. The blog causes me to reflect on my own practice as a leader in a school division- sometimes I’m reaffirmed for what I’m doing and other times… However, some of the posts really push me hard in my thinking and cause me to be truly reflective. This past week, Dan Rackwell forced me to stop and consider my leadership practice in his blog, “How to Stop Drifting and Find Focus.” I quote, “Activity seduces. Leaders easily fall into the ‘Let’s just go do something’ trap. Activity without destination is futility. The ultimate destination is who not what. Before you do, ask who; ask who you want to become. The same goes for organizations. Who we want to become always precedes and guides what we want to do. Impatient leaders say let’s do something. Wise leaders say, ‘Let’s become something’.”  

School divisions and other organizations have mission or vision statements that should guide their “becoming something.” Our vision reads, “A Christ-centered learning community where students are cherished and achieve their potential.” This is our becoming something! As educational leaders we often get caught up in the vicious circle of trying to do things instead of setting direction. In other words doing something instead of being something. This is especially true as we journey on the transformation agenda. We have been so consumed by trying to transform education by doing things instead of really focusing on what transformation looks like as teachers and administrators and in classrooms, schools and systems.  We attend to the urgent (doing) rather than focusing on the important (being). And the important is to know who we want to be as a staff,  as a school, as a system and as a community.

In many school divisions, it is now time to start planning for next school year. Before we begin to put down what we are going to do or how we are going to do something, we need to fully understand and reaffirm who we are or who we want to become. Educators need to be reflective so that before we do… we are!

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