This year, I am really thinking about my impact in our school. How effective am I as a leader? What does it actually mean to be effective in our school?
Covey suggests that it is a combination of performance and production combined with the culture, the well-being of the collective. Individuals often drive hard for results but are often unable to sustain their performance which can ultimately impact on the well-being of the collective organisation. Alternatively, the culture and well-being of the group may well be outstanding but they fail to perform and produce what they intend to... They just simply have potential. They are not effective.
I've been re-reading about Covey's seven habits that lead to effectiveness and reflecting on my own effectiveness, or lack of it:
Effective leaders operate in certain ways:
1. They are proactive: Therefore, what is my greatest influence and how can I work from this? This is something I am constantly seeking to develop.
2. They begin with the End in Mind: For this to happen the beliefs and principles need to be cognitively portable. Conversations need to reflect these and practices that do not align need to be challenged. The why of what we do is the emerging culture at school.
3. They put first things first: What is urgent and what is important? Some days it is really hard to focus on leadership when it feels that there is much to manage...
Effective leaders work with others in certain ways:
4. They think Win-Win: Only Covey says this well.... "Win/Win is a belief in the Third Alternative. It's not your way or my way; it's a better way, a higher way". It's a real balancing act for me...Empathy can be a strength but I am not anywhere near as brave or as confident as I would like to be.... yet.
5. Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood: This habit is about communicating with others. I am developing the habit of listening carefully and really understanding the other person before I give my thoughts.
6. Synergize: Two heads are better than one... we know that. Covey directs our attention to the power of effective relationships. We can achieve so much more when we engage in effective relationships with others than if we acted alone. Out of diversity grows strength as opposed to conflict.
Effective leaders continually self improve their influence both personally and interpersonally:
7. Sharpen the Saw: This is something that does not come naturally. I have never really had a good work/ life balance but it is something that I am really working on this year. I am walking, enjoying the outdoors, endeavouring to find time to read and watching my nutrition. Watch this work in progress... Ultimately, to get this right will help me to develop further in all of the above...