The leadership myth that you must know everything results in 5 traps that keep you and your team from successfully handling the situation at hand.

Courageously Bust this Leadership Myth: You Have to Know Everything!

Being a learning leader means you need to know everything, right? If you don’t know, you better get out the books or take a class, because you’re incompetent if you don’t…is that how you feel? I’ve observed this many times from leaders, especially leaders in the field of education. They believe they need to know before they can teach or lead others. Could it be that you’re putting a lot of unnecessary pressure on yourself?

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There are 3 essentials to maintaining equity driven leadership: 1) having a solid team dynamic, 2) being a learning team, and 3) focusing on a shared commitment to the mission of the school.

How Equity Driven Leadership Preserves Freedom of Speech on School Campuses

When you contemplated a career in education, did you have any idea of the issues you’d be facing? I didn’t! But my desire to make the best learning experience possible for “my kids” kept me going. That plus the fact that I found a way to get my whole team involved in finding solutions — the burden didn’t just rest on my shoulders. Over time, I discovered how equity-driven leadership skills help you face even the thorniest of problems.

For example, in the past, the typical dilemmas about freedom of speech had to do with whether or not a public school teacher could display a religious symbol in their classroom. One particular case was about a teacher who displayed a poster of the US Flag with a caption that read “In God We Trust”. 

Today, our debate over flags has shifted to the discourse about the meaning of the confederate flag. These issues are common for many high school principals. And it’s a real challenge to those of you who are passionate about equity-driven leadership. You’re dealing with the conflation of fact and opinion, which makes it imperative to keep the conversation real, focused, and resolvable. 

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Changing student schedules midyear needn’t be overwhelming, when you create a Community of Practice.

Change Student Schedules Midyear? A 6-Step Process for Tough Initiatives

As a school leader, you constantly have to make really tough decisions, especially in the last few years! And what can be more nerve-wracking for school principals and leaders than trying to change student schedules midyear? A few things, but not many! Yet that thought had been percolating in my mind for months. I wasn’t thinking about a student dropping a course or changing classes. I wanted to effect a school-wide change to the student schedule.

I was a principal at the time, and I had been thinking about student schedules for some time. In October, it burst into my mind and I had to do something big, something that I wasn’t sure the other school members would get behind. I was afraid they’d think I was off my rocker. I knew some would say my idea was impossible. But I knew it was possible and I knew we could make it work.

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In Social Learning Spaces, all team members take turns creating fun, effective meeting agendas that spark amazing creativity and eagerness to attend.

Can Effective Meeting Agendas Be Fun? Yes, Through Shared Responsibility!

A cute toddler waddled into the room where the business meeting was being called to order. If you were at this meeting how would you have reacted? Shocked? Appalled? Intrigued? Amused? You may not think a toddler could contribute toward a team having more effective meeting agendas, but it actually did. You’ll find out how, later on in this article.

If you’re used to stuffy, boring meetings in a rigid boardroom structure, you might not think there’s any other way to conduct effective team meetings. As a result, your meeting agendas have probably been a little on the dull side…cover point 1, move to point 2, until everything has been hashed out. 

What I love about Communities of Practice (CoPs) is that they spark enthusiasm, innovation, and engagement because they function as a collective; the focus on Community is intentional. Therefore the meeting agendas are handled in a way that may seem foreign to you at first. But they are fun and highly effective.  In the following video, I share why fun is so important in the business setting.

Agendas, Productive Team Meetings

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When you focus on building community in the workplace or your organization, you create cohesive, highly productive teams that support and elevate each others’ efforts.

No Sense of Belonging? Focus on Building Community in the Workplace

There’s a huge chasm between being assigned to work together as a team and having a sense of belonging that comes from building Community in the workplace. Case in point, there was a team I had been hired to coach and right away I noticed there were a few team members that felt it was enough to show up, compare  notes, and call it good. Sound familiar? 

Together we began building a Community of Practice for this team — a group of people who share a common concern and are committed to working together. Even the team members who initially were hesitant about leaving the sidelines began to see that they had been vastly missing out and, in essence, robbing themselves and their coworkers of something extremely valuable — Community!

Even if your job seems mundane, your attitude and behavior at work determines, in part, how physically and emotionally healthy you are. It’s possible to do nitty gritty work and still have a sense of fulfillment, satisfaction, and belonging that elevates WORK to COMMUNITY. Let’s see how that happens.

Team Leadership Skills

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Louise J Santiago, PhD
Executive Coach and Organizational Consultant

Where Leadership is Intentional Work

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