“Every leader is telling a story…” – Walt Disney
October proved to be another busy month in that external circle of “Things I cannot control”, globally and nationally. As we watch, hear and are affected by events not within our circle of influence, it is natural to experience unsettling emotions such as fear, frustration, disillusionment, anger. As one Headteacher articulated in a recent coaching session, the past 2.5 years has been like leading through “wartime” with the threat of hand grenades, overhead bombers and landmines at every turn. Now, he describes “peacetime”: things in school are back to ‘normal’ and yet, the challenges, both professional and personal, are still weighing heavy as the world around us continues to agitate.
So what can you do to feel more in control, and experience more energising emotions such as confidence, excitement, fulfilment, joy, or as another Headteacher called it this week, “mojo”?
This month, we invite you to reconnect with your core values to reignite your mojo! Core values are what we consider to be most important in life; the guiding principles that create our sense of self and shape what we strive to create in the world around us. The illustration shows our Leadership Edge values, but what are yours? Here are some examples:
accountability achievement belonging community challenge courage determination empathy equality fulfilment fun health happiness humility justice learning loyalty nature nurture opportunity respect service teamwork understanding achievement balance consistency creativity diversity enjoyment fairness honesty hope health independence mastery kindness openness development purpose inclusivity resilience stability tolerance security adventure caring commitment dependability excellence enthusiasm faith focus growth status joy love friendship optimism responsibility reliability satisfaction spontaneity trust vitality opportunity
In taking 10 minutes to reflect on the following questions, notice if certain values jump out to you:
Which of these values do you have a strong attraction to and repulsion against?
In what ways does your current role align to what really matters to you?
How can your actions today/this week/term/year demonstrate to others what you value?
By establishing clarity on your 3 strongest core values, decision-making, communication and self-
compassion all become easier and the message you deliver, both in word and deed, more consistent and powerful; you feel authentic, integrated, yourself. As a result, others see you as reliable and trustworthy.
Once you are clear on your own values, consider your colleagues: how well do you know what matters most to your team members? People have different values and these need to be respected and exercised daily in order to harness goodwill, engagement and motivation in their work.
In the words of Walt Disney, “Every leader is telling a story… about what he or she values.” What will people read into you? More importantly, what is at the core of the story you want to tell?
Leadership Edge is a growing team of experienced school leaders who have seen person-centred coaching create high-performing, happy and healthy cultures within our schools. Our mission is to empower other school leaders to create positive workplaces where staff are solution-focused and actively responsible for their own personal wellbeing and professional development.
Our 3-Tier Coaching Accreditation Programme is low-cost and self-sustaining, providing a systematic and structured model for staff across your school to become powerful coaches for each other, enhancing colleague relationships and their feeling of being valued as an individual within a supportive school community.