This is the second Integration Coaching article for educational leaders. Congratulations! You are nearing the end of the 2017-2018 school year and while the light at the end of the tunnel is no longer coming from a train, I know having sat in your chair for 18 plus years, that there is still lots to do. There is no choice but to ignore the exhaustion you feel as the demands of your staff and your community are really no different than yours- everyone is tired.
I realized really early in my education career that the notion of work/balance was inherently flawed, particularly for educators. Commencing in August, educators hit the floor running in their respective schools. This marathon usually continues to the end of June. For those of you who know anything about marathons, the concept of “sprinting a marathon” is not possible. You would simply run out of fuel. Yet, we ask that of our educators consistently. We demand that you run to the end and we spend very little time really understanding that it is the consistent pace that wins the race. It did not come as a surprise to me when I polled educators with this question: “What are top three challenges you currently face in education as a leader?” The number one reply by far was: “work/life balance”. Here are some tips on designing your wellness in a INTEGRATED way as opposed to chasing the feeling of inadequacy in this work/life balance pendulum.
- Design each day to create some energy for yourself. This could be exercise, this could be meditation, this could be some quiet time with no demands- these techniques are unique to all of us. Do you know yours?
- Create wellness boundaries. This is an “inside job” whereby you spend time deeply understanding that it is the integration of your strengths that anchors true wellness. Wellness does not exist in a program. It is your inner voice that says: “when I do this, I feel absolutely energized”…
- Be active in your choice of recreation. Really understand that the word recreation, when broken down, means to “RE- CREATE”. What are you doing this summer to “RE- CREATE?
WHAT IS THE INTEGRATION COACHING ADVANTAGE- INTEGRATED LEADERSHIP
Allow me to use a sports metaphor as I describe the INTEGRATION COACHING ADVANTAGE. June is always met with the ending of two major sports championships. The NHL celebrates its Stanley Cup champions and the NBA celebrates the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy. Behind each of these championships are talented and very skilled athletes who tirelessly battle for the ultimate representation of their success. Behind each of these multi-million dollar athletes are COACHES who challenge them, who support them, and strategize with them in accomplishing their common goal. In the education world, we demand the same leadership from our administrators and teachers with little if any coaching whatsoever. Our most effective HR teams attempt to act as a coach daily; yet the competing demands of time erode the best of intentions. The inherent duality between being your boss (directing your evaluation) and your support is often confused. Honestly, it stifles your professional growth. Also, I have had some of the best professional development one could get as a superintendent, principal, and teacher; but what I did not get was a way to INTEGRATE that learning into my leadership. Bridging these gaps is the INTEGRATION COACHING ADVANTAGE.
To that end, I have had two events present themselves to me that changed my leadership exponentially. The first was a failure. One March afternoon, shortly after completing a very dynamic interview, I received a call from the national executive recruiter stating that I was not the successful candidate for the leadership position. This day will never leave me. I remember sitting by the side of a road in rural Alberta, yelling out, from the top of lungs, “I am tired of being in second place!” It was this failure that made be realize that something had to change. I wanted to be a champion to myself. I am grateful to a mentor who once told me, when you’re climbing the ladder of success, be careful which wall you put the ladder on. That was the day I hired my own executive coach to reinvent the champion in myself. Stay tuned for the rest of this story in future articles on how my coaching experience transformed my leadership.
It was through the coaching process that I truly became an INTEGRATED leader. I unmasked so many aspects of my leadership, unveiled leadership blindspots that I did not know about myself and celebrated the greatness I already had during this coaching process. I want to share with you, as your INTEGRATION COACH, the integration coaching advantage.
CONTACT ME AT: EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s set up a free thirty minute discovery consultation.
INTEGRATION ADVANTAGE BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS
- Dov Baron(2015). Fiercely Loyal- Dov shares a riveting and practical leadership book on how to establish and maintain loyalty in our organizations.
- Botelho, E.L., & Powell, K. R.(2018). The CEO Next Door- Base on a breakthrough study of over 2600 leaders, these researchers dispel the myths surrounding CEO leadership across many domains.
- Scott, K. (2017). Radical Candor. A great no nonsense book on how to run better meetings, how to be a better boss, and ultimately how to be a great leader. ” do not cut dogs tail off one inch at the time” was some of the best advise she gave around difficult decisions.
- Senge, P.(2002). The Fifth Discipline- The Art & Practice of the Learning Organization. I asked the question in my last article. Does the system you are currently leading have a culture of “nice” or a culture of “learning”? Senge does an excellent job of distinguishing the two. Remember: Your leadership is perfectly designed to get the results its getting!