Recently, I wrote about the importance of developing a leadership credo. Several folks asked if I would share my leadership credo. It had been about six months since I last read it, so as outlined in Developing a Leadership Credo, I sat down and tweaked it a little based on how I have changed in my practice.
It is a great reminder that sharing your credo is a one way that we make ourselves visible as early childhood educators, If we want people to recognized us for the professionals we are, then we need to take the time to name our practice. More that naming our practice, we also need to share it with colleagues, parents, and in the larger ece community.
My Leadership Credo
This I believe. My leadership is a way of being that connects and moves ideas, organizations and people forward. I see it as a verb. Verbs by their very nature express actions or states of being. As a leader, I strive to celebrate where people, ideas and organizations are at and move them as needed. To look at multidirectional and multidimensional ways of thinking, being and doing. I value people as capable, visionary and self-directed individuals, as I acknowledge even the most capable people need direction and support. By providing a safety net while cheering the success, it makes it okay to fail and to share that failure is part of the learning process. I believe that this process scaffolds experiences and allows for self-discovery---to know to leave a good thing alone and to know when to allow people to struggle with ideas, projects and vision. I know self-actualized learner grows and matures with both positive and negative experiences. My calling card is “empower people to success.”
I believe that leadership is hard work. The best leaders have a natural talent, however many leaders learned their skills in hard won lessons. I know that I did. My skills are honed with over 25 years of trial and error---success and failure. With each experience, I have refined my core belief that the best leadership is grounded in values that honor people. My values are compassion, caring, and kindness. But, values need skills to be effective. My skill strength is in my ability to be organized, to vision the big picture to the details and to create actionable steps. Talent enhances values and skills; I am a creative thinker and problem solver.
My leadership is people-centric, people-engaging and people-empowering. It is how I view the world. Whether leading myself or leading other, I believe that interconnectedness is our strength. Strong connections are grounded in communication. The ability to communicate and hear ideas and values---to be inclusive---move ideas, organizations and people forward. It is to demonstrate my faith in others by showing them how I see their success. It is consistency. Leadership is knowing when to let go, when to ask for help and when to dig in and persist. This is my leadership credo.