15 Comments

  1. zecool

    Just as Edward de Bono says:

    "Managers manage within paradigms, leaders lead between them."

    Thanks for the inspiration, George.

  2. Liz

    I read your post today and honestly struggled with the guilt it induced in me. I have not said "when would I fine the time". I have attempted through the course of the last year to make the time, although with much difficulty.
    I see myself as a growing leader, and developing my PLN is very important to me. I have difficulty with balance, though. The things I enjoy most are participating in twitter chats, however I found myself staring at my phone in bed, rather than spending time talking with my spouse( or sleeping) or reading on the computer after dinner rather than having true communication with my special needs son. I need to be engaged in classrooms and out of my office as much as possible during the day at work, so from someone who recognizes the importance, I also recognize the difficulty.

    Being a good leader means having a balanced life and modeling that for others as much as anything else. If I am taking time away from the people around me to connect with people in the twitterverse (which I so enjoy), to what priority am I devoting my limited personal resources -from where will I draw my reserves of energy and motivation if I am dipping too far in the well?
    It is a situation I have personally struggled with – I want it all! yet I realize that is impossible.
    I try to visit once per week and catch up on good articles, but reading my feed everyday and 2x per week chats were just too much.
    I wonder what others take away from in their worlds to make this a priority? Maybe its just me, but my 24 hours a day doesn't go that far – there are family relationships to build outside of school day, and then there's the laundry, housework, childrens' baths and homework, exercise, (things I need to do). I already take flack from my family for working too much, maybe I just need help with time management, but I cannot fit it all in and I really try. I'm on vacation today and reading my email and articles like yours – when I should be having other kinds of fun…. Just my .02
    Love your blog and insights.

    • georgecouros

      Great comments Liz :) Balance is so important yet the reality of it is that many successful people are actually out of balance. Do they do what they love though? If you spend all of your time with your family, and don't have anything else outside, you are out of balance. But does it matter if you and them are happy? Balance and happiness are not always connected.

      That being said, I think it is important to find a balance between our "management" and our "leadership". I would like to say that I spent ALL of my time in the classroom with kids but I couldn't because there were other things that had to be done. It is part of the job. I think that making sure that you have time to do all of the things that you believe are important for yourself and your family are extremely important because if YOU or them are unhappy, you will not be an effective leader.

      It seems that your struggle with making sure that you find the balance and making it a priority is actually leading you to do what is right. If we didn't struggle with it, it would really mean that we didn't care or value things. You obviously do and your school and family will both be able to benefit.

      Thanks for your comment!

  3. @Liz, you make a very important point and thank you for sharing. I find that the more priorities you add you have to take away from somewhere.
    For me, at first, it was taking away things such as watching television and then I just tried to multi-task the addition of things. Such as skimming articles while listening to podcasts. Eventually, there is a limit and a healthy balance is required to keep going. You can't lead if you aren't leading in an example of a good balanced lifestyle. Otherwise, you will just be an example of what it takes to burn a good leader out.
    That is my personal opinion though. You can always just dabble and add things in small amounts until you are comfortable and able to do them in your spare time.
    Excellent article George, you do make some good arguments.

  4. The same is true in the classroom, if you truly want to do something great with your students, the workload is going to be much more than a holding pattern teaching style. My twitter tips would be to 1) schedule it, as a junior twitterer I would peruse my feed briefly on Sunday nights with the goal of reading and responding to one article and bookmarking one new tool to try out. 2) Follow very few people, my short list kept me surprisingly well informed when I was a new learner to twitter, it was on twitter that I learned about the Connected Canada conference. 3) I have 2 mantras, "it is what it is", meaning that when there is not enough time and I need to step back, do it – the world will not end. The other is, "why not"? If I can swing it and it might be fun and I just might get better at what I do, why not? This mantra takes me all kinds of places, personally and professionally.

  5. darcymullin

    George,

    What at timely post. I am working on a presentation for district admin in August on Social Media. I am going to start with this post to use as a conversation starter. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Kris

    George,
    There is a balance to everything but I think that when we value something we make the time for it. I think that is the essence. I also agree that leadership is very different from management (and for the organization piece- I highly recommend the book Getting Things Done and the use of a tickler file!)

  7. T. Henriksen

    Hi George,

    I agree with your post in that we definitely have to find a balance between the "management" aspects of our role and the "leadership" aspects of our role. Too often, I think, administrators spend much too much time on management instead of leading. Learning is such a HUGE part of leadership. We all must be learners and model that if we want others in education to also be life-long learners.

    Liz, I understand your struggle and need for balance. When things are really busy with me at work, I will get up a bit earlier, or arrive at work a bit earlier and just spend 10-20 minutes on twitter or reading blogs. I find that just energizes me for the day. It is such a great way for me to start my day. Often, I will not get to look at any blogs or twitter until well into the evening – after I've put my kids to bed for the night. And even then, some days, I am just too busy preparing lessons for my 70% teaching assignment or marking (which I actually do very little of). Please don't feel the need to "catch up" is what I am trying to say. Even just a few minutes each day will help. Good luck!

    Thanks for your inspiring post, as always, George,
    Tia

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