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It's Never about the Role; It's Always about the Goal

“Great leaders don’t set out to be a leader—they set out to make a difference. It’s never about the role; it’s always about the goal.” - Rachel Ngom

I was scrolling mindlessly through Facebook one morning and came across a post with this quote. It just so happened that this particular post was just following a post from R9 about learning opportunities. I remember thinking how powerfully this quote reflected R9 and how it approaches leadership and growth. For as long as I have been involved in R9 (and that is from the very beginning either as a teacher using its resources, as an employee supporting our districts, or as a contractor supporting the organization), there has never been a focus on “the role”. There has always been a focus on making a difference. If you look back over the organization’s mission and vision statements, I am certain you will see that focus reflected in one capacity or another.

One of the reasons R9 has been so successful in making positive differences over the long haul has been that it really drills down to “What are we about?” and “How do we get where we want to be?” Setting short-term and long-term goals aligned with the mission of R9 is consistent and intentional. And it happens at all levels, from the larger agency to departments and to individual employees. Goals are not just set to check off a need-to-do box. Goals at R9 are living and ongoing and reflected upon. They matter. As we enter into 2022, many of us are setting personal goals for ourselves. We have probably just reviewed our personal employment goals, and the leadership team will likely be reviewing agency goals. As we engage in this goal-setting/reflecting/adapting process, I challenge each of us to really think about the “why” and “what” and “how”. Goals matter. They help us make that difference. They are our roadmap and our celebration to our success. Get goaling!

By Cathy Jones Park