Finding Your True Voice: Authenticity in Principals' Leadership

What's interesting about effective leadership is it's also about how to be an effective anything, effective life, coach, effective parent, effective friend, effective human being. 

So to be an effective leader, he must first start from the authentic part of who you are. Each of us has an inner being. As you may call it a. spirit, a source, whatever is not instinct or what's going on in a primitive part of our brain. 

This inner being is our primary tool to being great. 

So I want to encourage you to be yourself. To experience beyond. Your limitations. And to become stronger. More alive. We all achieve better results. When we have a sense of expansion, we are expanded. And I'll explain what that means later. It doesn't mean. Like gaining weight or expanding, and the hip barrier from sitting at your desk too much. That's not what I'm talking about. 

I'm really talking more about. Uh, mindset expansion of our minds, expansion of our heart expansion of our being expansion of our willingness to take massive action. 

And we've become more of who we are. When we practice. 

Looking at our thoughts. Looking at our feelings, which are vibrations and in combination. Of thoughts and feelings in this vibration, we will attract outer successes. 

Authenticity. It's your own style? It's your own personal style. Oh, your strengths and skills, life experience, intuitive sense. Lead from the center of your authentic being, you are valuable just the way you are in this moment. You're enough just as you are right now to be a really great and successful leader. 

And I wish I had known that my first week as a new principals, so many years ago. I was enough at that moment. If I had been authentic. And instead I was trying to be this persona or my perception of what a great principal was. I was really modeling the principals that I had had in high school and middle school and elementary school, you know, the kind of principles that sit behind the desk and they're large. 

Charge. And if there's a problem it's off with your head and you never see them. That way. Was not me. That was not who I am as a person, but that's what I thought. And I wish I had known at that moment that I was enough. 

I'm here to say right now you are, whether you're starting out in your new school. Or whether you're in your 20.  

I'm going to let you in on a well kept secret. I don't think that. You learn this in school or graduate school? At least I didn't, when I was getting my credential and I don't know that mentors will, will tell you and. This is my experience. Everyone else are the experts. The parents are the experts of their children. The teachers are the ex. 

Bursts of their teaching and their instruction, their classroom, their classroom management. The special education. Directors and assistant supes. They are the experts. We do not have to be experts in really any area. Except. Being authentic 

we don't need to know more than our teachers, our parents, our students, our district. Personnel. We don't need to know more. 

Leadership is all about listening to and responding to whoever it is that you are interacting with rather than advising or trying to fix. Active and deep listening requires practice. Not expertise. And this is the number one secret. To being a great leader. 

I remember. My first year. When I did not, I believe that I had to be everything and no more. And of course I didn't. So I was terrified and acted accordingly. And I wasn't real present. I was always in the future trying to problem solve. And I remember a wonderful father coming in. So concerned about his son who. 

mean, how much trouble can you really get in elementary school? Something had happened on the playground. I don't even remember what it was, but I remember him saying to me, and it changed my leadership. He looked at me, not happily and said, I don't think you're listening to me. And you know what he was right. I wasn't, I was just responding and trying to get him out of my office and move on to the next problem. And it woke me up. 

And I told him, I said, you're right, let's start again. I'm here. 

 We can listen and respond appropriately when we are being rather than doing, when we're asking questions, instead of giving advice. Wherever we're talking to teacher, parent, student, and expecially students have answers within themselves. And a good leader, a good principal reminds them of their infinite wisdom, helps him to see things from a different perspective and come to their own conclusions and solutions. When someone comes up to their own conclusions or solutions and has the answers within them. 

They take action. They're more apt to do it rather than say. Yep. I'll try. I'll try. And then. They're not going to, because it was your solution, your aunt's or my solution. My answer. 

My job. As a principal, as a leader is to hold. 

Stakeholders. My community teachers, staff, students in a safe place. While seeing their higher vision. 

When someone comes to me with his or her own conclusion. There's a bigger impact and an actual energy shift. But then this person is able to take personal responsibility because the solution was his or hers. This accountability allows them to move closer to his or her goal. 

Remember. What do you focus on? Or what you focus upon expands our thoughts create our reality. 

When we are coming from a place of doing I'm making air quotes, the aspect of leadership and building.  Our positive school culture building our community. That is when fear perfectionism dread doubt surface. 

Of course, we need to take action. To create a positive school environment and be great leaders. But our main focus is to be on our vision of what we want. 

So I'm a big journaler. I have my client's journal. 

I think even as staff meetings, I've had teachers do writing. And good teachers have their students do writing. So I'm going to give you some homework, pull out your journal. And I want you to answer this question. 

Or put it as a title. What makes me who I am? What are your character traits? What are your strengths? What are your skills? What are your talents? 

This will give great information about who you are authentically. And if you're not quite sure, ask a trusted friend or a spouse or partner or family member. To help you see how you really are. 

Some other homework. I want to encourage you to be aware of when you shift between being and doing. Once you see the impact that being has on your community. Make corrections in the future to focus more on. Being with them and being yourself rather than doing, having an intention, having a strategy. 

I'm not talking about vision, but I'm talking about being one sided  it's like the other person doesn't even exist. We're going to do it. My way or the highway. 

 And then in your daily life, how are you showing up authentically? Is there any way that you're not being true to yourself? 

And write that down also.  

And this is not done as some form of judgment or criticism. But what it is, even if you only had one out of the 12 characteristics. What happens is you stay focused on what is working. Rather than what is not because we remember what we focus on expands. So if you were focusing on the one characteristic characteristic trait that showed up, you will attract more of what is working with that person. 

You hold a focus for that person that can influence even more of what will help them. And we'll build that relationship. We as human beings have a tendency to focus on what is not working. So I think this is a valuable practice. Notice when your authentic character traits show up. And you focus on those because that will attract them, showing up even more with others. 

Spend a few minutes acknowledging all the positive. Matches that happen, even if they, even if there were some not so positive that happened. By acknowledging and focusing on only the positive you will attract. More positive.  right, are y'all ready to take this to the next level? Okay. Let's do it. After you've written down your character traits. And I'll give you mine. 

 When I did the same exercise that you did, I wrote down intelligent, funny, creative, compassionate, warm. Kind peaceful. Judgemental bossy, controlling wise, intuitive, frightened, spiritual, and generous. My strengths are intelligent, spiritual wise, funny, vulnerable, reflective life experience and visionary. 

Now that you've written down your trays, you can put them on,  I don't know a post-it note or you can put them in an Excel sheet. It just depends on, on who you are. But after you have a conversation with someone, especially maybe someone that you're wanting to develop. 

A better relationship. You're wanting to mend some bridges or someone that you really resent and you want to see it different. After you have a conversation with him or interaction with them. Go back to your character traits and put a check mark by the ones that showed up in your interaction with this person.  

 Put the check marks against all the characteristics that showed up during the call. Or showed up during the talk or showed up during the email, even if it's only four out of 50, it doesn't matter. We're going to stay focused on what is working so that you attract more of what is working with that person. 

You hold a focus for that person that can influence even more of what will work. Spend a few moments, acknowledging all the positive matches that happened. Even if there were some not so positive things had happened.  For me. I, , sometimes that will show up is being bossy and controlling. But also what will show up will be intelligent, funny, caring, warm. 

So by acknowledging and focusing on only the positive. We attract more positive.  

And isn't that really what an effective leader is or an effective human being is that we're being authentic. We're being who we are. We're attracting our positive character traits and showing up in our relationships and our conversations. We are being who we are. Rather than trying to be someone else or do something else. 

you will find great success. One knowing first, who you are and what your characteristic traits are, and then becoming aware of when they do show up accepting when they don't show up. And focusing on when they do focusing on the positive, because remember. Universe source God,  whatever you'd like to call it. 

Is listening and is paying attention and wants to give us. Everything wants to S to have what we want. Because we are cherished. We are enough. So it helps to be aware of what you're putting out there. What your focus on? Or what your focus is because that is what will expand. Good luck in creating. 

Your dreams or goals, your desires, creating effective leaders.  

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Take care. Be well, be happy, be healthy. And thanks for listening.  
Finding Your True Voice: Authenticity in Principals' Leadership