Thursday, July 19, 2012

Brief Thoughts On Leadership And Connectedness...

My friend Kristina said this today:

 Strikes to the heart of things doesn't it?

I have spent today and will spend the next few days talking leadership with folks from around the country. Leading from the box doesn't really get us anywhere. If we stay in our silo and live in our own world can we say we really lead? Being a teacher-leader, curriculum leader, technology leader, or just a leader is about being public. Its about sharing and learning and growing together.

So it bothers me when I hear people, powerful people, people in positions that could really drive change, say educators need to be connected, but in the same breath discount the validity of Twitter or other social networking tools. Their idea of connectedness is the traditional. Let's travel 1000's of miles to have a conversation over dinner about assessment or the Common Core. I can have the same conversations with many more people any time of day. That isn't to say that the face-to-face time isn't valuable. On the contrary, I value greatly that time I get to spend with others. But if we are truly going to drive change and make waves as educational leaders we have to plug in and get connected. We have to reach out and read blogs, send tweets, participate in forums.

Professional development, and personal/professional learning and growth is so different now as apposed to the traditional. I can learn about anything, anywhere, from any number of experts. Why, as a lover of learning, would I not want to be in on that!

Being connected challenges me, everyday.

Being connected pushes me, everyday.

Being connected helps me grow, everyday.

Being a connected is a part of me, personally and professionally and I could not imagine myself without being plugged in.

I challenge everyone in a position of leadership (and that is anyone reading this) to break out of the box and do what Kristina says. Reach out to someone who doesn't "get it." Who doesn't see the benefits of plugging in and show them. Be personal about it. Open up, share, explain and reflect. After all, that is what being a leader is all about.

photo credit: stevendepolo via photo pin cc
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