We hope that amongst the piles of presents, mountains of food and gatherings of people, you have found space for health, happiness and connection to whatever, and whoever, is most important to you.
As we emerge from our Christmas cocoon, let us also consider how this metaphor applies to our daily lives at work: piles of “stuff” can often make it difficult to reach, or even see, what we are really seeking. Yet, if we know what it is on the other side, and why it matters, we can continue with a sense of purpose and progression, even when the road ahead seems obscured and arduous.
“What got you here, won’t get you there” – Marshall Goldsmith
Standing on the threshold of a new year is the perfect time to reset our sights on precisely what we are trying to achieve, as an individual, a school, a wider social and/or trust community, nationally and globally. Now is the time to think big: not solely from a work perspective, but holistically, as the whole person we are, with everything we can bring and contribute the world around us.
At Leadership Edge, we believe that everyone can embrace their vision and agency to make great things happen, but only when they have the clarity, motivation and support to maintain momentum.
We hope you already have a coach who is working with you to achieve this. However, if you’re interested in some purposeful reading for the long January evenings, we recommend “How to Begin” by Michael Bungay Stanier: a step-by-step guide to align your personal and professional goals with your strengths and passions, providing a solid foundation for achieving your ambitious and “worthy” vision.
Stanier starts by inviting us to ‘write a crappy first draft’ of our “Worthy Goal” and then takes us through a series of questions and considerations to help us commit and cross the threshold into making our first steps actionable.
You can watch Michael discuss this book with Marshall Goldsmith here.
“Leadership is the capacity to translate Vision into Reality” - Warren Bennis
He highlights that setting and achieving a worthy goal is not a solitary endeavour. We need support and encouragement from trusted allies who provide a fresh perspective, cut through the clutter and refocus on objectives. A skilled thinking partner can serve as a mirror, reflecting both strengths and weaknesses, allowing us to refine our vision and commit to our next steps.
"Coaching is about moving things forward, with your guide you navigate and find a way through focusing on that future desirable, that end goal you have. You target-set, thinking about small actionable steps that are realistic, achievable and owned by you.” - Dee Stanton, Vice Principal, George Eliot Academy (Leadership Edge Practitioner Coach, November 2023)
A few questions to get you started:
What do you want to achieve?
What makes this goal 1) Important 2) Thrilling 3) Daunting to you?
Who will (and will not) travel on this journey with you
As we step into a new year, let it signify an opportunity to define our vision with clarity. Challenges can then be seen as opportunities for learning rather than insurmountable roadblocks. This positive outlook attracts solutions, encouraging us to seek alternatives and think creatively in the face of adversity.
For me, I see a future where the majority of education colleagues embrace their individual agency, experience empowerment, and feel motivated to work towards their personal aspirations. The collective effect has the potential to revitalise our sector to regain its health, happiness and professional pride in nurturing achievement for all with an agility fit for current and future times. More to follow on how we are working towards this at Leadership Edge, including our new Coaching School Membership Community.
For now, let’s focus on your “worthy goal”: what do you see beyond the clutter, and how can you take your next step towards it?
Warmest wishes for a purposeful and successful 2024!
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.