I still think of myself as the young, new teacher in my first job. I remember that feeling of being in a bit over my head, of learning, sometimes the hard way, about the art and the science of teaching, and mostly of feeling supported and cared for and nurtured. I was surrounded by mentors.
There has never been a time in my career when I have not had others encouraging me, teachers who encouraged me to try innovative things in class, administrators who encouraged me to pursue leadership opportunities. I have been blessed, and I still feel very much like that young, new teacher in my first job surrounded by people who raise me up and make me better.
I hope I can do the same for others.
The strongest leaders know that the success of the organization does not rest on one person. The strongest leaders are focused on finding talent, nurturing talent, and encouraging talent. Each one of us should be focused on others. The more we can do to show the people in our lives that they are smart and capable and cared for and nurtured, the better our organizations will be.
Talented people are not a threat to our own success. They make us better. New teachers with new ideas make all teachers better. New administrators with new ideas make all administrators better. As the people in our lives get better, we get better. As we focus on nurturing others, we are nurtured ourselves.
Jim Collins calls it Level 5 Leadership. The best leaders spend their time finding the right people and helping them reach their full potential.
It feels amazing when others invest in me. It makes me feel worthy and capable and important. I want my time to be focused on making others feel that way. I want all of us to be focused on that.