John Maxwell says, “Everyone Communicates, Few Connect.” I think this maybe a quote that will stick with me for a long time. I loved it so much I created this cute little graphic to remind me to connect and not just communicate.
I love being an active learner. Therefore, I am constantly reading and trying to grow as a leader. I believe building positive relationships with one another is one of the most important pieces. It is vital to connect to those around us- family, friends, coworkers. It doesn’t matter what profession or what we are called to do. There’s not a greater need in the world than the need to connect.
Why is it important?
Being connected to one another will not only build a relationship, it will sustain a relationship. When the school is functioning with disconnected leadership, there will be a lack of engagement. Everyone will function individually instead of as a whole. School leadership should be considered service leadership. Our intentions should be to see and add value to the lives of those on our campus.
Every person on our campus is unique. They all have their own style of teaching. They may have their own classroom, office, or cubicle in the building, but he/she seldom works in isolation. Even though it may seem isolated if, in their own space, everyone is connected through a common purpose. In school, that common purpose is to be a school that inspires academic excellence, leadership, collaboration and provide a world-class education for our students.
This year it has been my goal to not only communicate but to connect. This goal has been an intentional effort aimed to strengthen the relationships around me. It is really been just a mindset change.
Being a school leader and blogger has given me the opportunity to meet and learn from people all across the country. It has provided me the opportunity to help current and future school leaders address some of the greatest school challenges- from school management, dealing with difficult situations, budgets, state mandates, and many other topics.
But this was not an opportunity I ever expected to have when I first began as an educator. Actually, I never thought about college or a career my entire childhood. For you see, I grew up in extreme poverty and with parents who both struggled with addictions. This is not something I really share with the world. However, I wouldn’t change a thing about my life. I was brought up in tough situations, but I learned so much about myself and my sisters along the way. We are strong women who appreciate even the littlest of things. We have a lot to be proud of. Being a positive person, I can appreciate the lessons learned from my childhood. The lesson and legacy of my life can be summed up in this quote: “People can accomplish much when inspired by a purpose beyond themselves.”
There is one thing I hope for you today- to live a connected life and create connected schools. I hope that these connections enrich your life and those you serve. This is how we will build stronger schools. We just don’t communicate about it…we connect.