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Leadership Capacity

My word for the day is capacity.

Defined as: Ability; power pertaining to, or resulting from, the possession of strength, wealth, or talent; possibility of being or of doing.

I just got back from a four-day field study with more than half of our school. The trip was designed as a bonding time and it was a great success. The capacity of the school has increased as a result. How did that happen? One teacher in our school had a vision for bringing together the seniors and juniors to form a leadership team. This team planned events, worked with groups of younger students, modeled positive behavior, gave out lots of hugs and showed us that kids can do great things if we expect it of them.

The students in the leadership team now will expect more of themselves. They know now that they have power, ability, strength and a wealth of talent. As for the younger students, they now see this as the norm. They will be leaders when they are juniors and seniors.

If this isn't what school should be all about, then I've been on the wrong channel for years.

So what's the dark side to the story? The problem is that only one teacher had that vision. It's good that the principal recognized it and let him move forward with it but while we were successful in building capacity in the students I think we missed an opportunity to build capacity in the staff. At the end of the week our teacher was an exhausted hero. One person cannot sustain a vision and lead a school.

Sharing a vision is always the hardest thing to do isn't it? Filed away as a lesson learned; being a great leader does not mean walking out front. It means building the strength, wealth and talent of your team from within the ranks.