As I consider "Why I lead" I am sure that many of the reasons that come to mind are the same for many of us; to make a difference, impact the school and community on a larger scale, build relationships, etc. However, one important aspect of being a leader is being able to reach out and connect with students and staff from all different backgrounds, talent levels, and socioeconomic status and inspire them to fulfill their potential...or "FIND GREATNESS".
What does "Finding Greatness" mean? Greatness is different for each and everyone of us. Last summer, prior to the summer Olympics, Nike ran a great ad campaign that really spoke to me and put into two, one minute commercials (found below) what I believe is one of my roles as a leader. My role is help our staff and students reach and obtain their moment of greatness, regardless of what level that may be.
It is easy for us to identify greatness as a state championship, hitting the game winning shot, nailing a musical performance, or scoring a 32+ on the ACT. But the truth is, that for many of us, greatness lies in the smaller, personal accomplishment that never make the paper or deserve a parade. Being a part in making these smaller accomplishments happen is what makes being a leader so worthwhile for me.
Thinking back upon my last five years in administration, I have been fortunate to be apart of many of these moments. While greatness comes in many forms, the memories I treasure most are when students feel a since of accomplishment that they have found their greatness. As leaders it is our role to help students reach these levels of greatness by providing them with the skills, resources, and most importantly, the support they need in a nurturing and safe environment.
Some examples of the other forms of greatness I've experienced:
Having a student whom that I battled with, but never gave up on, for four years walk across the stage at graduation and shake my and and say "thank you"--that is his moment of greatness!
The student that struggles to get a qualifying score on the ACT but is determined to get into a four year school and finally gets accepted--that is her moment of greatness!
The wrestler that hasn't won a match all year, gets a pin at the conference tournament--that is his moment of greatness!
Moments of greatness happen everyday, in every building. We just have to open our eyes and enjoy those moments. As a leader, embrace the challenge and celebrate when those students, staff, and patrons achieve their moments of greatness!
As educators and administrators there are many days during the school year that we have obligations that may keep us away from our kids and families. Whether it is coaching a volleyball game, sponsoring prom, taking students on an overnight trip, working on FCCLA star projects, or any of the many other responsibilities that keep us working late into the night, none of this would be possible without the dedication of our service men and women stationed across the world.
While our kids and families may have to wait a day or two to see us, the families of military personnel wait longer and with much more worry about the well being of their loved ones. So on this Independence Day, I would like to thank the fine men and women of our military who protect us from foreign and domestic threats on a daily basis and who allow us to do the jobs we all love to do. Thanks!
Earlier this week ESPN ran the following video showing the joy a family feels when their service member returns home (Grab a tissue first):
Milford Jr/Sr High Principal