Leaders Do the Dishes

Consistency in leadership is important. It’s a bit like doing the dishes, and here’s how.

You know the state you desire – a clear sink. Simply by doing the dishes you can achieve this.

You can do the dishes once and do a good job, even a good deed, as it serves others. The trouble is, if you don’t do it the next day you have a full sink. Not doing it a further day is worse still. The problem just keeps growing before your eyes until the mounting pile of dishes is overwhelming. You yearn for the day when the sink was clear. You can see it clearly in your mind.

A leader’s influence and impact is very much like this. Only through daily action will we move towards clearing our sinks.

One of the beautiful things is that you don’t have to do the dishes by yourself. You can ask for help. You can build a team of dishwashers.

This is hugely empowering because you have the capacity to do something about it. You can change the situation through daily action. You can decide to do the dishes. Just be consistent.

The Kind of Leader You Want to Be

I’ve been a leader in schools, in one capacity or another, for 13 years. I’ve seen both poor and excellent leaders in that time. 

It’s often said that a great leader must have a balance of professional competence and sound character, with some arguing that character is of more importance than technical aptitude. For example, would you prefer your GP to be a brilliant professional with great medical knowledge, but who prescribes you drugs you don’t need in order to profit themselves? Clearly, character is important. Things like integrity, honesty and diligence matter a lot. But what does one do when there’s an absence of these? How do you move from being the kind of person who couldn’t care less about others to someone more empathic and caring? What of you are the leadership problem? 

Every leader must routinely take time to examine themselves. Conduct something of a self-audit of your own character. This self-Socratic process could follow something like this:

  1. What do I currently stand for?
  2. What do I want to stand for?
  3. What does someone who stands for the character traits I want to possess do?

The final, and perhaps hardest step is to take action by changing your behaviours so you are no longer the leadership problem but the solution. God knows- our world needs far better leaders now.

Parents as Educators

Schooling at home

With The COVID-19 pandemic forcing us to shut down almost every entity, and then shut ourselves in, it’s reiterated the importance of family.

Overnight, the family became the thing of central importance. The jewel in the crown. It was always supposed to be, but I think many of us forgot that along the way. They say youth is wasted on the young. I say family is wasted on parents!

Schools closed their doors and every home became a school. Consequently, parents the world over tried/are trying to maintain some semblance of progress and learning for their children. This has been no easy task.

Well done and keep going!

The big questions are:

  1. How can we maintain an active role in the education of our children amidst the busy pace of life, outside of the context of a pandemic?
  2. What changes do we need to make in our lives to better be involved in our kids’ schooling?

The family should continue to take stage and center in our lives and communities.