Thursday, August 14, 2014

Moments of Vulnerability in (New) Leadership & Learning

The start of a new school year approaches.  This year, like last, I once again start a new job (this is not how I scripted things).  I suppose there are times in your life where you have go for it.  To follow your heart and "let go and let God".

Next week I start a new learning and leadership journey as Principal of Vancouver College - a K-12 all boys Catholic School in Vancouver.

To say that I am excited is an understatement. To be surrounded by nearly 1200 students, over 100 teachers and staff and countless parents  - all learning and growing together as a community of faith is inspiring and well, a little intimidating.

As I embark on this new role, I have, over the course of the summer, in quiet moments of vulnerable reflection, found myself asking:
  • Will they respond to my leadership?  What if they don't?
  • Expectations seem high.  Do they know that I don't have all the answers?
  • Do they realize that I see myself as equal part learner and leader?
  • Many see me as "a technology guy".  How will they respond when they see me as a "learning guy"? 
My experience tells that I am entering a warm, caring and high functioning faith and learning community - but still moments of doubt creep in.

I like to think that my own vulnerability and self doubt keeps me sharp and focused.  It simultaneously keeps me grounded and focused on what's important  - namely doing what's right for the students entrusted to my (our) care.

And speaking of students.... as I reflect on my own moments of doubt I also wonder about the many students who enter our schools and classrooms with their own doubts.  We must always be vigilant of their doubts - both those spoken and those kept in the silence of their hearts.  As educators, it is those moments when we turn self doubt into unimaginable successes that we earn our greatest  reward.

As usual, I am figuring it all out.....

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