Friday, August 29, 2014

Quote-A-Day: Day 242

The mark of a great #leader is knowing that everyone around you can do their jobs better than you can. #QuoteADay #Day241 #edchat #ASCDL2L

Yesterday our agency held our annual administrative retreat at West Point.  The views and setting were fabulous, and so was the conversation.  Along with doing some deep goal work and reflection, our district superintendent (who is a phenomenal speaker) spent some time talking to us about leadership.

One important idea he shared is that he always took pride in the fact that at a certain level, when the capacity of those around him had been built up enough, he could happily say that everyone in his organization could do their jobs better than he could.

This got me thinking about the power of true leadership.  It seems to me that the best leaders are able to turn the communities they serve into enclaves of expertise, such that at some point, the leader him/herself is, in many ways, the weakest link in the chain.

This seems like a true tenet of servant leadership.  A question we should always ask ourselves is, “How do we get our team to the point where we are deferring to their expertise in their specific areas, rather than the other way around?”  “How can we strive to become the weakest link in an organization?” 

That last question sounds counter to what we imagine good leaders are, but it makes sense when you think about it.

If one of our main goals is to strengthen everyone around us to the point where we could never hope to do what they have learned to do, then we are, in fact, the epitome of the servant leader. 

So, let’s strive to build others up so that we may be surrounded by those who can do their jobs better than we ever could.

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