Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Are you Ducking Leadership?

The luxuries of a winter day in Vancouver... cool, crisp, clear and sunny!  A few weeks ago, I took advantage of the weather by going for a walk along False Creek.  A flock of ducks quickly caught my attention, first because they were all chewing away at the nearby grass.  As I approached, one duck noticed me, turned and started to walk away.  Within seconds, the remaining ducks all followed along and turned to walk away. This got me thinking, did all of the ducks sense my presence  or did they pick up on the actions of the 'lead' duck? The flock didn't glance up to look at me, nor did I detect any auditory communication amongst them.  It just seemed like they knew, like they shared some sort of intuition.  At this point, I couldn't help but pull out my camera! I observed the ducks as they moved into the water and interestingly enough, over the course of the next few minutes I realized that they were modeling much of what we, as school leaders and educators strive to create as a culture in our schools.

                                           As leaders and educators...

...we must have the courage and conviction to stand on our own for what we believe in.

  ...we must envision a bright, optimistic future and boldly lead others in this direction

...we must participate in teams so we can collaborate and learn from each other

 ...we must encourage each other to branch out and share our knowledge with others

...we must inspire each other to take flight with new ideas in the interest of improving student learning.

Recently, there has been lots of talk of the need for change, improvement and innovation. As funny as it sounds, we can probably take some simple lessons from these ducks. If each of us tries to carry out these five actions in some way each day, we will continue to progress!

While I consider myself fortunate to be a part of a great school and learn with some passionate colleagues, I am not allowing myself to become complacent.  My goal is to model these five actions each day in an effort to continue to move us forward!

Will you join me? Or are you 'ducking' leadership?

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