Vision and Leadership

This post is a result of recent work for my librarian certification regarding leadership and vision statements. We were asked to complete a Leadership Self Assessment from the American Library Association.  As I have pondered vision statements, and reviewed my responses to the questionnaire, I had a thought rumbling around. As I read other vision statements and created my own, I kept on feeling inspired, with a notion that “I can do this!” “This can happen!” But then I kept on being pulled back to thoughts of making “goals.” Particularly, SMART goals for evaluations. At the beginning of each school year, when we have to formulate our new goals, I feel drained and often annoyed. Goal-setting day in August is almost always met with a groan.

So, what I’ve been wondering is, why is having a vision statement feeling so much more powerful for me? I’m not totally sure why, but my first two thoughts are: it’s easy to remember and it paints a picture of what could be in my “magical-happy-education-world.”

I started to apply this thinking as I went through the questionnaire. As a leader, how would I get support from the organization for our vision? How would I collaborate in creating a vision that is powerful and that can be applied to the everyday workings of the organization?

Two questions from the assessment really stood out. The first: “To what degree are you prepared to risk failure to achieve this vision?” This made me think of a recent Tweet I read quoting Dave Burgess. It said “If you haven’t failed in the classroom lately, you aren’t pushing the envelope far enough. “Safe” lessons are a recipe for mediocrity at best.” This spoke true to me. I hope that I can be strong enough to be a leader that is willing to take risks and allow failure to be an option. The second question is: “Do you view everyday as one step closer to achieving that vision?” This took me back to the idea that the vision my organization is working towards should be easy to remember. Every day, the vision should be the guiding principal in how we plan and teach.

For some reason this work has inspired me. While this new vision is outlandish, I really am feeling that I want to be a leader in the school who inspires the feeling that “magical-happy-education-world” is a reality, not an apparition. And, I am feeling very excited that being a school librarian is going to be a good place to be this type of leader! #excited