Today I speak at the Canadian Student Leadership Conference in Waterloo, Ontario. The significance and honour of speaking to the leaders of tomorrow and advisors who have brought them to this conference is not lost on me, and I consider this one of the highlights of my time as a presenter.
In my talk today, I have three key goals/highlights that I will bring forward. Each of them is intertwined and essentially important to the future leadership we need in our world.
The Importance of Innovation
There can be no doubt that innovation is essential to our current economy and world. As leaders, we are tasked with maintaining standards expected, but also looking at new ways of reaching goals and making progress. However, we cannot be ‘lone wolf’ innovators anymore. If we are not seeking and responding to alternate perspectives, addressing concerns and doing our best to find the best solutions (not just the ones we want,) we risk the alienation of our communities and disengagement of the support we build together. Innovation is essential, but must be collaborative in order to succeed.
The Power of Mindset
I can’t express how much as an administrator the work of Carol Dueck comes into play. It is so essentially important as a leader to maintain a growth mindset, and encourage the growth of team members. One of the greatest challenges I see daily in school are those who believe their abilities and station in life are fixed and they are unable to grow past their current challenges. As leaders, and even as teachers, we have to break this cycle and support those who struggle in developing a growth mindset. As Einstein said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.”
The Value of Servant Leadership
Call it positive leadership, servant leadership or simply caring about others, but the truth is the more we give to others, the more we get back. We can talk about the research in this field, but I use a simple example in my presentation. If you have siblings, you likely once and a while got on each other’s nerves. Siblings vary on how they ‘bug’ each other; sometimes hitting, poking, name calling, etc. However, once the ‘bugging’ starts on one side it becomes cyclical, usually until a parent stops it. Likewise, positive actions on behalf of others and your team will also become cyclical. As you give more to your team, your team will give more of themselves to you and the school. Servant leadership is not an easy road, it takes energy, commitment and true care for the best of everyone, but it is powerful and always worth it!
I am including the final video I showed as part of my presentation, but in the comments below I welcome participants to write a comment on how they plan to serve their school and community once they return home from #CSLC2017Innovative Leadership for a Better World