Effective Education Leaders Have Conviction
A steadfast belief in a cause can often be a driving force in an education leader’s ability to affect change in their school or district. This conviction often comes from being inspired and staying inspired throughout your leadership journey. Of all of the leadership skills, this is hands down one of the most essential.
A little self-confidence goes a long way
Smart education leaders know not to expect results overnight, whether it is a new anti-bullying policy or a new academic initiative. They know that it will take days, weeks, months, and even years for their hard work to pay off. During this time, there will be a lot of naysayers that believe that you should just give up, but in the face of doubt, you must have the conviction to keep going. When it’s hard to defend your position, you will have to push back against some of your initial supporters, who are now opponents. They will say, “Your way is not working out, and we need to reverse course.” In times like this, you find out who you really are.
Education leaders know that patience is not about waiting around for results; it is about executing the plan, following through and not giving up when you face obstacles, working diligently, and learning how to love the journey as much as the destination. Since you have already anticipated setbacks and naysayers, you will be able to fight back and expose all of the reasons why everyone needs to stay the course.
The defendant’s lack of conviction gave him away
Let me end this tip with a story that demonstrates the importance of having conviction. There was a man who was on trial for murder, and although the body had not been found, there was lots of circumstantial evidence. His lawyer knew that he needed to do something grand to ensure that his client would not be convicted. He instructed the jury and everyone in the courtroom to look at the door because, in 60 seconds, the man that his client supposedly killed would come walking through the door. Everyone was on the edge of their seat, wondering if he was right.
At the end of 60 seconds, he confessed that it was all a ruse, but that, based on the fact that the juror’s eyes were glued to the door during his exercise, they must have believed that there was a possibility that it would happen. This meant that they had a reasonable doubt as to whether or not his client was guilty. He also informed the jury that before dismissing them for deliberations, the judge would tell them that returning a verdict of guilty meant that they all were 100% sure that his client had committed murder.
A few minutes later, the judge gave his instructions and released the juror for deliberations. One hour later, they came back with their verdict. The jury foreman announced that they had found the defendant guilty of murder, and the defense attorney was livid. He chided them for returning a verdict of guilty even though they had reasonable doubt. The jury foreman said those doubts dissipated when they noticed that the defense attorney and his client never glanced at the door during those 60 seconds because they didn’t believe it themselves, which means that the defendant is guilty. The moral of the story is, how can you expect other people to believe in you if you don’t even believe in yourself?