Months ago when my promotion was announced, I received a lot of congratulatory messages. I also received a lot of advice about how this job was going to be tough but that I could handle it. During the summer, I began to wonder on both accounts...you already know that I spent days purging the office that I was moving into. As I embarked on that process, I found that I was getting rid of items I had no idea were attached to my office and job responsibilities! Hmmm, COULD I handle this job? If all these "extras" were part of the title, the the toughest hurdle for me would be the time management needed to address the endless minutiae.
Fast-forward to the end of this week. Week 3 of school for us. I have had numerous faculty and parents compliment me on the job that I am doing and that has given me pause. Because to be honest, I don't feel that I have done much at all. I have made a few decisions, given some parent presentations, spoken to parents and students about their questions and concerns. And I have been in classrooms, in the hallways, in offices, talking to faculty and staff. Wishing them a great day, asking about a project or new lesson. Sitting in on classes. Asking students about a particular lesson. None of this, to me, seems unusual, challenging or out of the ordinary. However, to the faculty and staff here it appears to be extra-ordinary and very welcome.
And that minutiae that I excavated during the summer? Well, as it turns out much of that never belonged in the office anyway! Turns out my predecessor was not always timely in getting rid of old items. So getting rid of what I did was allowing me to simplify the scope of my office. I highly recommend that to anyone. Simplicity is best. It is the easiest way to prioritize. If you identify and address the boulders, the pebbles seem to find their way to a resolution without any effort at all.
So, as I conclude this week, I am appreciative of the relative simplicity of my job. I am appreciative of the support of parents, students, faculty, staff, and my fellow Administrators. I have quickly come to realize that as with any relationship, it is not in the "wow" moments--which come very infrequently--but in the simple moments that the job is done.
So as you head into this wonderful and welcomed 3-day respite, savor the simple moments for they will be the ones upon which your relationships are built and your effectiveness as a leader is measured.
Photo courtesy of the view from my office.