I'm including some of my additional thoughts. When I reread them, it occurs to me that most are as applicable to teaching as they are to building administration.
- Relationships are vital in schools. Everyone at our table mentioned how relationships and culture has either inspired or immobilized their schools.
- Being a leader has lonely moments. There are lines to respect, information to keep, and reasons that shouldn't be divulged. Sometimes emotional issues arise and emotions must remain in check.
- John Maxwell wrote about the Law of Magnetism and I think about this premise frequently. Maxwell's concept is that we attract people who are similar to us. Therefore, people who work hard attract people who work hard. Guess who people who complain attract? Sometimes, we can't control our groupings in school settings but I do pay attention to who gravitates naturally to each other and to me. I can learn a lot about people and also about myself.
- Egos should remain in the hallway or learn to be patient. When leaders cultivate great ideas and thinking, people will notice the positive culture, although it might take time. In group settings, empowering and guiding others to great ideas may not earn immediate credit. However, when people are excited to be doing the work and proud of their accomplishments, the impact on students will be positive and therein lies the reinforcement.
- Twitter is an amazing resource. The information available is infinite and inspiring. Professional Learning Networks offer theoretical, practical and visionary advice and suggestions. The more that I've shared and offered, the more contacts and and sharing I've received--it's an exponential growing opportunity for all levels of educators!
- Self-evaluation and reflection are critical qualities. A difference exists between lacking confidence and looking at your work critically. How could I have been more effective? Handled a situation differently? What if I had taken a different path? These are important questions to process and explore in a quest for continuous improvement. We are rarely as good as we think we are.
For right now, it's a short list because too much more would be overwhelming for me. I'd be happy to add suggestions as they come in, though. Feel free to nominate some!