I often equate the beginning of a new school year to the process of setting new goals for myself, both personally and professionally. Already, I have shared that dreaded “2017-18 Goal Setting” form with our team and asked them to return to me by September 15th.
I say "dreaded" because,
“What does this really mean?
Will this be a form that is completed for compliance purposes or will it be a true reflection of who they are and how they identify with their purpose?
By setting goals, do we get too caught up in the result rather than the process?”
Maybe we should set purpose statements that include timeline processes and checkpoints along the way to measure our growth. Our value as leaders comes from getting lost in the work with others. It’s about maximizing our own learning and collaborating with others to help the organization succeed. It’s about building capacity in others through trusting relationships. It’s about collectively growing our students and our organization. It’s about developing our identity as a leader, over time, not in whether or not we reach a goal at the end of 12 month period.
Think about others whom you admire. How would you describe them? Which of these leadership qualities do you hope for in yourself?
Developing a purpose statement as leaders seems to make more sense than developing goals in isolation. A purpose statement will help us reflect on the process and focus less on the outcome. I care more about the process leaders take to reach their goals. In the end, no one will remember whether or not we achieved our yearly goal, but they will remember how we persevered along the way. As leaders, we all want to reach the top of the mountain, but what good does it do if we are at the top of the mountain alone? The end goal doesn’t matter much if the camaraderie of team hasn’t developed along the way. It’s about the process and those who band together during that process. The process is personal. Through processes, others get to know us and understand what we value. Let’s also not forget the important role failure plays in this process. I’d much rather work alongside someone who has failed a few times, knows how to navigate the bumpy road and lead our team to success. From failure, we grow. Goals are boring in isolation, but a purpose statement allows us to focus on the process, keep our perspective and keep moving the organization forward.
So, if you have already started your Goal Statements that are DUE by September 15th, please HOLD, we have a few changes to make!😀