It was summer of 2010 when I received a personalized letter from the new principal at the under performing school I worked with in New Orleans.
He started so strong, determined and challenged that just after a couple of weeks, teachers were on their toes teaching, students behavior changed, teams were communicating and collaborating on how to improve student’s grades and behavior.
The principal was just so into it that the staff, teachers and even the students could really picture the vision for the school to the point that we all actually believed that it will be achieved! He’s always out and about, he’ll even co-teach a class, he’ll whisper to students and ask them if they understood what is being taught, he’d know his students with special needs that he’d ask them if they were being given accommodations.
He simply made sure that everyone is doing what they were supposed to be doing!
It was a real 180 degree turn from what our school was prior to his leadership.
Clearly my vision of what leadership is about, when change is created, when you properly direct or guide your team to the achievement of the set goals, when your team is communicating, creating solutions not problems, when they are involved and invested in achieving the vision of the group and at the end of the day you know that you were able to empower your people, because as you bring out the best in them, it’s bringing out the best in you.
A leader plays many roles, wears many hats. What makes a leader great however is if he is not only able to lead a group into the achievement of its goals and vision, but more so if he is able to take leadership of his own self, his own experience, his own habits, his own cultural programming and his own thoughts.
Thus, we are all leaders, we may not be great ones yet, but what is important is if we are able to lead our own thoughts into that we earnestly desire, then we may be surprised to have all our goals and vision achieved just because we are able to lead ourselves into it. Let me repeat, If we are able to lead our own thoughts into that we earnestly desire, then we may be surprised to have all our goals and vision achieved just because we are able to lead ourselves into it. We may not know yet but that is how powerful we are!
The principal I had in New Orleans knew what he wanted. He was very clear and decided to make his goals happen. He will not say no for an answer. To him, there is always a solution… He’d say, “So? What can you do about it?” If you are bringing him a problem, be sure to bring him solution too!
And that’s how powerful we are, because if we just keep quiet and think about it, there are no problems without solutions, so it’s not even a problem at all. Leaders will always find ways to make things happen. But this is not to say we can just do what we think we should do, because we are responsible and accountable too for our actions. We should also make sure that we know how are actions are impacting others.
The question now is how do we lead ourselves into achieving our goals? How do we get from Point A to Point B? Napoleon Hill said, if the mind can conceive and believe, it will achieve. The answer is all about knowing what you want with all your heart and soul, believing it will happen in due time and then it will happen, like magic! Pieces of the puzzle will fit, circumstances will change, different mechanisms will just appear leading to its achievement!
Our mind is simply powerful. So we should really be careful on what we are thinking about. Our thoughts could really make things happen. Our thoughts could change our world.
Knowing ourselves and achieving by simply changing our thoughts is power. With great power, though comes great responsibility.
The Principal in New Orleans knew that, he knew how powerful he is and that is why he was able to create change in his workplace, because he allowed us, teachers and staff to believe in ourselves too, and in our power.