The last time I blogged, I asked the question – How passionate are educators? It seems like I’m on a bit of a rant about educators, particularly educational leaders with the addition of today’s question – How creative are educators?
Michael Hyatt recently suggested 7 Ways Successful Creatives Think Differently Than Unsuccessful Ones. As I read his list, I couldn’t help but direct my thinking toward those I think matter a great deal in transforming our system – school leaders. A few of the seven suggestions that had meaning for me…
- Successful creatives think big. How much big thinking do we really see in education? BIG THINKING. Big thinking, along the lines of second order, adaptive change? Not enough in my opinion. While we have a handful of strong voices on the internet arguing for major changes in the system, I find that so many of those in formal school leadership positions don’t think big enough about the changes that are needed. Why is this? Is it mindset? Are leaders aware of how some schools are transforming? Are we just lazy?
- Successful creatives seek help. The classroom level isn’t the only place where professionalism is isolated. It’s a rampant problem at the principal and central office level, too. It’s easy for us to get mired down in the day-to-day operations of carrying out the tasks of the job, often in isolation. Why is this? Again, is it mindset? How do some people accomplish thinking big, connecting with others, and carrying out the necessary functional tasks of the job? I do think a big issue is how we view collaboration. It doesn’t always need to be face-to-face. Most leaders are woefully unable and unfamiliar with ways to develop an online presence and connections with peers and experts digitally
- Successful creatives work hard. Being a leader is time consuming work. If you believe in process rather than check-list leadership, it requires conversation, reflection, decision-making and action in collaboration with others. To work through the process is hard work – and time-consuming work. Are our school leaders really committed to working hard and doing whatever it takes to get the job done? What short cuts do we take? The greater question – are we even doing the right job. This goes back to the idea of thinking big.
There are more suggestions than the ones I connected with in this post, so be sure to check out the article. Maybe you can make some additional connections.
Thinking big. Seeking help. Working hard. Don’t get me wrong. We do have many school leaders that achieve in these areas and more. I see the large majority, though, falling short when it comes to these three ways. I wonder how we will change that. Do we start with mindset? Where are the models? How can we learn from them?