A teacher’s New Year resolution to “brag more” was the topic for Monday’s What’s Right in Education post reminding us to deliver a positive message about education. Today we include leaders. Edinger details Nine Leadership Resolutions for the New Year in Forbes (online here) and we discuss a few of these below complementing them with messages from The Great Employee Handbook (Studer, 2012). Edinger writes:
(1) Don’t forget your strengths. We tend to think of making improvements by correcting weaknesses, yet the best leaders stand out with the presence of great strengths… Consider your strong points and how to leverage and build on them.
(5) Be the role model of key behaviors.
(3) Communicate more powerfully. Don’t forget… non-verbal communication as well. It all plays a part in how powerfully you are received.
(4) Assert yourself.
These four resolutions align to Studer’s “urging” to employees (not just leaders) to share their best practices and strengths (p. 65). And, he says, “don’t stop there—also offer your thoughts on how to transfer what you do best to others in the organization.” How?
Figure out what you do best.
Don’t be overly modest.
Share all the details with the boss.
Offer to help train others.
Keep searching (for the next great way to do something).
One of my colleagues shared Edinger’s blog with our team and in doing so offered “a great opportunity for all of us [in the office] to reflect.” She is our lead consultant and often shares what she is reading with everyone in the office. In doing so she provides us not only an opportunity to self-reflect, but also an opportunity for her colleagues to view what she finds valuable to her professional development. Upon engaging with the readings we often gain insight into our own professional development. A few of us reflected:
#2 really sticks out to me because we have become such a multi-tasking generation and world we can oftentimes forget to not multi-tasks with people too.
Looking back I have always made personal resolutions but not professional ones like improving leadership skills. When it discussed giving folks your undivided attention, I realized that sometimes I need to work on this. I have recently caught myself trying to talk to [someone on the phone] while typing and have lost my train of thought. Not a great way to [provide service to the individual on the phone].
I see alignment across many of these that remind me how to be a better leader; letting the individual I am communicating with know that she/he has my undivided attention during our communication is one of them. I think of this in two additional ways to that of limiting multi-tasking: (1) personalizing email salutations and engaging in the 10-5 rule; and (2) delivering a positive message about our work, including role modeling positive body language, concern for others, and communication.
Ultimately, our goal as a leader in any setting is to create a great place to work as this creates excellence in outcomes. Beginning the year thinking about Edinger’s Nine Leadership Resolutions and the message from Studer’s Great Employee Handbook helped me to think about how to make my work better and how to make work better for my colleagues. A final message from Studer (p. 211-12):
When we like our work, lots of other things outside of work seem to improve… I have found that employees take their boss home. The family knows who you are. They know what their spouse or mom or dad thinks of you… The best award a person can receive is when people go home and tell their family, “I work for or with a good person.” That is the pebble that impacts every drop of water in the pond.
Conlon, Julie. (01.02.2013). A Teacher’s New Year’s Resolution: Brag More. Education Week published online here.
Deliver a Positive Message about Education. (01.07.2013). What’s Right in Education. Available online here.
Edinger, Scott. (01.07.2013). Nine Leadership Resolutions for the New Year. Forbes published online here.
Studer, Quint. (2012). The Great Employee Handbook. Gulf Breeze, FL: Fire Starter Publishing. Available online here.
Our mission at Studer Education is to provide students with a great place to learn, teachers with a great place to teach, and parents with confidence that their children are getting a great education. To do this we work with school boards, leaders, and teachers to apply Evidence-Based continuous improvement processes and the principles from How to Lead Teachers to Become Great in their districts to get the best student learning results and create results-oriented school cultures. Visit us online at http://studereducation.com. Studer Education is a division of Studer Group, a recipient of the 2010 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and ranked #4 on the 2012 Best Small and Medium Workplaces by Great Place to Work®.