5 Ways Running Can Make You A Better Educational Leader
One of the best ways to make positive changes in any community is to become a leader. This doesn’t mean you need to be in a position of authority or to exert your will over others. Being a leader means you set an example through words and actions, and are someone your community looks to for guidance and assistance. Educators are natural leaders for the children in their classrooms, and can also be leaders among the faculty and staff. Whether you are an educator looking to improve your leadership skills or someone trying to move up the ranks within the educational system, here are the five ways running can make you a better leader.
Running forces you to set goals for yourself, whether it’s the distance you want to be able to run, a race you want to qualify for, or a personal time you are trying to beat. Part of being a leader is always working to improve yourself and the community you serve. Learning how to set and achieve personal goals through running is great practice for setting goals for yourself in your career, and eventually setting goals for others to develop them.
- Learning how to pace yourself
It’s inadvisable to sprint one hundred percent of the time you run. You have to learn how to pace yourself so that you don’t burn out too quickly and can keep a store of energy for when you need it to finish a race. The same is true in your goal of becoming an educational leader. You can’t give everything one hundred percent, all the time. You have to know how to pace yourself and not wear yourself out or spread yourself too thin by saying yes to everything and exhausting yourself. Be conscious of where and how you exert your time and energy.
- Mind over matter
Of course, there are physical limitations to running, but the biggest obstacle in any race is not the person in front of you or even your own body. It’s your mind. So much of running is psychological and a case of mind over matter. If you push yourself, you can achieve things you never imagined possible. The same is true for your educational leadership. You are capable of more than you think, and if you set a goal, you can reach it.
- Delayed gratification
You can’t just wake up one morning and decide you are going to run a marathon that day. It takes training and practice, and you have to learn to set realistic milestones. This can also be helpful in your goal of being an educational leader. It’s unreasonable to expect to accomplish all of your goals for yourself and your community all at once. Much like running a marathon, it takes time, careful planning, practice, and patience.
- Building a community
Although running is something you can do on your own, there are many opportunities to get involved in a running community. Running with a partner or group, participating in a team, or registering for races are all ways that you can be part of a community of runners. Many races have registration fees that give back to the community or a charity in some way, so even by participating alone, you are contributing. Educational leadership is about building a community, too. You want to build the community of your students, the faculty and staff, and the administration. You also need to be in touch with the parents and the general community surrounding the school as well.
Next time you go for a run, think of the ways that your exercise can help you become a better educational leader. Through this healthy habit, you are cultivating skills and a mindset that can help you achieve your goals and help your community.