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Leadership Is Not About the Change; It Is About the Constant.

A leader I admire recently said to me, "Holy cow, there is a lot going on!" It made me think about all the changes that have impacted leadership these past few years including COVID, changes in staffing, changes in school leadership at the state and local level, changes in philosophy and community climate, and the continual challenges with budget, staffing, and district needs. And yet, this leader had the "Holy cow, this is exciting!" energy. So, how does that happen?

Leadership is not about the change; it is about the constant. It's about having people in your organization who support the common mission with courage, wisdom, and vision. It takes courage to be a leader. Courage to make hard decisions when budgets change, regulations change, or staffing changes. It takes courage to move forward with programs even when you are worried about the unknowns. It takes courage to trust those around you who have the wisdom and vision to accept the risks and to support their leaders when their leaders need courage to move. It takes courage to know when your decision needs to be rethought. It takes wisdom to know and understand all the factors impacting programs and communities. It takes wisdom to do the work and the research to make good decisions. It takes wisdom to know when to push to build and when to rest before rebuilding. It takes wisdom to trust those you hire to do their work and to trust your own leadership. It takes wisdom to know when to ask the questions and when to make the statements and stand behind them.

Leadership also takes vision. Strong leaders don't just operate within the status quo. They engage in visionary practices to see the potential and reach the potential. They are always thinking about what is next and how to lead their agency there. They also never forget the past and the framework that allows them to grow and learn. R9 has always had strong leadership at all levels. In my time at R9, I look at the staff and know that they all possessed the courage, wisdom, and vision to lead R9 then, and they still do now. When I think about R9, I think, "Holy cow, they have incredible leadership throughout!"