It has been a very long while (over a year maybe?) since I wrote anything in my blog. I honestly shouldn’t have stopped writing but life always seems to get in the way. But today I felt like I had to share a few thoughts that have been waving in my mind.
I have been thinking of the definition of “Leader” lately, maybe because each day I feel like I am more of a leader than the day before, and I feel like I need to start thinking carefully of the steps that I take and the choices I make to become the leader I hope to become one day.
I look at the leaders around me and think:
- Who do I like best?
- Why do I like them best?
- What do they do that others don’t do?
- Have I picked any traits from them and tried being a little bit more like them?
There are a few people I look up to at the place I work at the moment. I look at them and I feel admiration. It’s difficult to explain, really. It’s that feeling that makes you think “I would do anything for them”. THAT is the kind of leader you want to become. You want to be the kind of leader you inspire and others want to follow.
What do they do differently though?
I think the main trait that makes them different is the fact that they go “the extra mile” for you. They are busy, they have a family, they are tired and they still make time for you. Time to help you, to support you, to be there…for YOU. They probably don’t tell you anything that you don’t already know, but they fact that they have made the time to sit down and talk to you, it shows just how much they care. They SMILE…they give you an honest smile. When they need to be honest, they are. When something goes right, they will make the time and send you an email congratulating you. Their words suddenly have a different meaning and deliver a new inspiring message. They are the people you WANT to be around, you want to hear them speak, you want them to be proud of you. You look at them and say “I want to be like you”.
Now, this, doesn’t happen often; not everyone has that effect on you.
When I think of them, I analyze my persona and wonder if I’m anywhere close to being like them. Probably not, but I try to work on it.
I am a Science teacher. As a teacher, it is so easy to “pass” or not really care much about the “small things”. We spend so many hours working that if you get the chance to not do something or maybe ignore it to go home earlier, the chances are you will.
Sometimes I find myself wondering “why do I even bother doing this!?” when I am spending too much time on some sort of “insignificant” task for my students. Like creating a board for my form (no one else has a board! no one cares!) or I give detentions but sit down with my detainees to make sure they get something out of the work they are doing (when I could easily give them something insignificant to copy down for an hour) or I call home to inform parents of how some kids are doing (I could be walking home instead). Or create Revision tasks for my GCSE club after school on Fridays (ON FRIDAYS!!! AM I CRAZY?!) when I could easily just tell them to read their textbook and make notes (or maybe I could have said no to starting a club).
I ask my tutees every morning to show me their equipment, if they don’t have it with them, they have detention with me. Equipment doesn’t seem to be a big deal but I try to teach my students to be responsible and always be prepared. I could not give detentions and that would make my life so much easier…however, I care too much.
Caring is one of the most important traits in any leader. No matter whether you’re a teacher, an accountant, an actor or anyone really high up the ladder. When you care, it shows. Now, not everyone will understand why you do certain things and that is okay. However, there are people to whom it will mean the world to them. And as long as you have made a difference in ONE person only, it should make it all worth it.
There is a lot to work on but I thought I would write this post to remind anyone who reads it and myself (for future reference) that the small things are what make the difference. There is always something you could be doing instead that is more fun or more important, but taking the time to show that you care, THAT is what makes you a better leader.
Right now, I could be watching a movie (or marking books…*sigh*) but thought reflecting on my leadership skills is just as important as anything else. Taking the time to think “Am I doing anything right? What do I need to improve?” will help me grow into the leader I hope to become.
Hope you found this post interesting and gave you something to think about. Ask yourself, what kind of leader do you want to be?