“It’s my job to learn first if I want to lead well” -@gcouros

Creating change and building a culture of innovation often takes someone being willing to take the lead on modeling the process. As leaders we have the responsibility to be that lead learner; to not only model the importance of personal growth, but also to forge a culture that supports innovation. Those around you need to feel safe to take risks and open with their learning. As a leader being open with your staff about taking a risks to innovate, knowing there is a chance this en devour will not work out can be worrisome, but also authentic.  It models the behaviors that are vital to innovation presenting your learning to the world, being willing to have your ideas be evaluated and being open to people question what your are doing.  At the same time you are leading, you are showing the real life benefits, providing an avenue to gain feedback and you are placing yourself in place where you can lead from experience.

In my roles as an assistant principal I see it as an important part of what I do, to model those values and processes that I know to be important. In reading Innovators Mindset I found myself reflecting, am I modeling innovation? As we know part of being innovative means taking risks. Whether you are a teacher or an administrator we have a tendency in our jobs as wanting to present ourselves as experts having all the answers. We don’t want to present ourselves to our students or staff as someone who doesn’t know. However, there is power is modeling a growth mindset by saying “I don’t know, but let me find out.” or even better, “let’s learn together!”

Ways I Found to Model Successfully

Twitter

This has been an avenue I have found the most success. It has been through Twitter that I lurked and learned. I began to find my voice and groups that share my passion. I openly share that this is a place learn and engage. Participating and sharing during Twitter chats such as #leadupchat #cpchat #IMMOOC #SociaLeadia and #LeadLAP have all been a fantastic place to see others modeling their own learning. I encourage staff, colleagues, family and friends to utilize Twitter because people on Twitter are there to find people just like you, looking to learn. I’ve worked with my staff to run Twitter challenges, had a screen installed in the hallway to show our learning and engagement.

Presenting

This year I presented on my passion for learning with my staff during a professional development day. It was a risk and a chance to model sharing. In the Innovators Mindset, it points out that as leaders, “our job, sometimes, is simply to be the spark, help build confidence, and then get out of the way.” That was my goal from sharing my learning, to hopefully be that spark to promote new thinking, a new connection or new approach to engaging with fellow educators. Presenting I think is something I will continue to do and refine after each one.

Being Present & a Lead Learner

“We rarely create something different till we experience something different.” @gcouros I strongly belief that in world we live in today that learning has to be ongoing and you have to practice what you preach. We cannot ask staff to continue to grow and learn if you do not take on that task yourself. Pick up a book with your staff, join a twitter chat, ask to join them in their collaboration. We know that Innovators Mindset show us that being in spaces where people actively share ideas make us smarter and being in the room with your staff will not only show support, but benefit you by learning alongside them. Out side of the learning it also provides you a chance to see the barriers they may face first hand or witness their breakthroughs; there is power in learning together.