I read this great article from the Harvard Business Review this morning that would be a great article to share with staff at the beginning of year to spark some discussion. The author talks about school’s inadequacies in preparing students to actually be leaders in our world because of what they are taught from the first moment of when they come to school. I could take many great quotes from the post (you should really read it), but I love these thoughts on the importance of leaders serving others:
Finally, while many schools tell us to serve others, they are rarely structured to actively show us that leadership isserving others. In most educational environments, our primary goal is to serve ourselves — to improve our individual grades, to compete for individual positions, and to maximize our own employment, college, or grad school placements. But as Bill George once said in a panel discussion on next generation leadership, “We are not heroes of our own journey.” People follow leaders who care for them, who share their vision, and who are dedicated to serving a cause greater than one’s self.
I really believe in the idea of how leaders need to care for those that they serve, just like great educators do. If we looked at some of these ideas at the beginning of the school year, what things would we change in our schools, and what things would we keep? If we are looking at building schools that perhaps serve the vision of what the author discusses (maybe you disagree totally), what would our classrooms look like and how would our schools support that? Should we move towards the vision the author discusses?
One of the things that I believe, and Bill Ferriter writes about in great detail , is that we have to really look at how we structure our “staff meetings”. These types of conversations need to be happening more in schools so that we can continue to improve on the great work that is already being done.