Defining Moments Are What Make Good School Leaders Great
Back when I was a special education teacher, my principal ended up losing her mother and father in a car accident, all while she was going through chemotherapy and working feverishly to improve our school’s state test scores. Not only did she rise to the occasion, she exceeds expectations, beating cancer, and improving state test scores. Seeing here work 10-12-hour days with all of the challenges that she faced inspired everyone in the school building to dig deep and follow her lead.
My principal had a defining moment in leadership that revealed how resilient she could be. But that’s what effective leaders do. They turn their personal and career challenges into a source of strength and resilience. Therein lies the power of defining moments.
Defining moments help us find our life’s compass, which guides us successfully throughout our lives. Want to learn how to use your defining moments to make you a better school leader? Let’s look at the 3 steps that you need to follow.
Recognize. The first step is recognizing when you are experiencing a defining leadership moment. Start by reflecting on significant milestones that have occurred throughout your life. These include transitions, significant influences, challenges and pivotal events that changed and defined who you are today. Then we can begin to recognize that these major milestones and challenges were defining moments that helped us become resilient and build meaning in our lives.
Transform. Now moving forward, you have to decide how you will use defining moments in the future. Will you use them as an excuse to give up, or will you power through and use them to build resilience? Defining moments can have a positive or negative effect on our lives, but we get to choose. Most people will want to use them to fuel their desire to examine the past and work actively for a better future.
Disseminate. The last step in using defining moments to make you a better leader is by sharing your stories with others. How does that help? Many of your subordinates may find you intimidating, but when you share your defining moments and how you used them to become the person you are today, it will make you more relatable and inspirational. Also, talking our your journey can be cathartic for you, helping you to process the emotions that you felt, and find strength in your ability to stay resilient.
As we have discussed in this article, defining moments are what make school leaders great. If you follow the 3 steps that I outlined in this article, you will be able to use your defining moments to make you the best school leader that you can be. Do you have any tips for using pivotal moments to inspire future success? If so, post them in the comments section below.