True North – Your Teachable Point of View
What do you say when you don’t know what to say?
One of the best leadership hacks is knowing your north star – the compass you steer by. What are your core values? What will remain stable no matter what? Choose your words carefully … and then act on them. And, over time, teach them by word and deed to those around you.
What you can expect from me
Here’s one version of what you might tell constituents they can expect from you:
- Service and stewardship above self
- Listening to understand those most impacted
- Growing students, staff and leadership
- Empathy and respect for different points of view
- Focus on learning and equity for each and every student
- Safety and advocacy for our students
- Together we are stronger than we are alone
Which values can your constituents expect to see and hear from you?
How we make COVID decisions
And in times of COVID … Which values might rise to the top of every discussion? Maybe:
- Learning and Equity
Authentic and transparent
For each audience you might say something like this: I know this is hard for all of us. We have reached out to hear from every part of our community and staff. Balancing safety and learning and equity has been our priority. We are using the best information that we have. Here are the options that seem to meet our community needs best.
And when we are challenged by the media or staff or parents or board members we have 30 seconds to … take a deep breath … put the relationship first … and focus on common ground. We might say something like. I hear you. I hear your passion and your concern. Then we can reach back to one of our core values that represents (hopefully) common ground.
Say it Again … and Again.
It takes four times before others start to hear your message. Open every session, every presentation with a similar message. Ask your administrative team how they would say it. And ask them to reinforce the message early and often. As the community hears consistent, bedrock messages they will grow more confident in your leadership – knowing that you are putting their interests at center.
More resources on Teachable Point of View
- Leadership Engine and The Cycle of Leadership by Noel Tichy.
- Leading at a Higher Level by Ken Blanchard