Everyone has baggage. The best leaders know how to help others carry it, and unpack it. #QuoteADay #Day331 #edchat #edu #satchat #NYedchat
As I'm looking out at the first real snow of the year, I can't help but wonder about the "fresh start" title we tend to associate with snow. I'm not sure what it is, but there is something "pure" about a coating of snow.
But, even though we might associate snow with "pure" thoughts, there is a lot of baggage associated with snow. From the clearing of the roads and driveways to the hazardous driving conditions, to the cold temperatures, to the slushy conditions we're left with after the fact, even what appears serene has a lot hidden underneath.
So too with those we serve. Everyone (including us) brings baggage to the learning and leading we do. And that baggage can be a major hindrance to success.
Or, it can be a hurdle that requires a little help to surmount.
The best leaders know that everyone brings baggage to the table, and therefore spend time on helping stakeholders develop the skills to carry their baggage, and when they're ready, begin to unpack it.
True leaders aren't necessarily problem solvers on their own but rather question askers and skill developers, so that a team can work together to tackle a problems cooperatively.
It is never a negative that we carry baggage (it would be kind of weird if we didn't). Rather, it only becomes troubling if we're never allowed to find and develop the tools we need to hold that baggage (and discard it, if needed) in a way that benefits as many people as possible.
The best leaders among us cultivate this understanding that baggage is something we can't avoid, and as such, we need to become better capable to use it to leverage our learning and leading.
So, back to the snow, there is something beautiful about it, but we must remember that even snow has baggage that needs to be carried (and eventually plowed away).