We talk often about the importance of “collaboration”, but talking about the impact of an individual is often taboo. Effective collaboration is made up of bringing unique talents of individuals to move a group ahead. It is not about all thinking the same thing, but the strengths of individuals coming together. Collaboration is talked about all of the time, but we forget the importance of the strengths of individuals.
In a conversation I was having with an administrator, they talked about (and not in a condescending way), that many of the positions in education can be replaced. For example, when a second grade teacher leaves, we will need someone to take their place. That being said, I want to try be someone that when I leave a place, there is a void. This doesn’t mean the next person can’t do my job, but they will bring their own unique talents and strengths to the table as well.
There are so many ways this can be done. It does not always mean being the “best teacher”; it can be in how your bring a smile to the faces of people in your organization. It can be some of the conversations that you have with students, that will be sorely missed. True collaboration in organizations brings out and fosters our uniqueness, as well as our similarities. These individual strengths make a stronger whole.
I have been thinking about what being “irreplaceable” means. When you leave, be a void that is felt, not simply filled.