Back when I was still teaching, I was frustrated by Administrators. If you talk to many teachers, you will hear many grievances. If you simply spend a night out with some teachers, their frustrations and objections to how the school and work environment is run will be well known. Although there tends to be a culture of complaining amongst teachers, I feel confident in saying that everyone’s feelings are valid for many reasons. I don’t want to go into more details because I do not want this post to be a rant about teaching. Rather, I wanted to give you some context on how Simon Sinek changed my life. Essentially, education suffers from a lack of leadership. The majority of complaints by teachers are valid not because they are complaining but because they are victims of institutions that do not develop leaders. Instead of leaders running schools, people who are hungry for power and control tend to choose to be administrators. There will be a small percentage of individuals that are doing their best to be effective leaders, but the majority abuse the power they wield.
To be a leader is not an easy job. It takes not only extensive training, but experience and mentorship, as well as a system to objectively look at ones actions, strengths, and weaknesses, and to try and grow and improve. The potential leaders that are present in education go through graduate school programs that do not sufficiently prepare them to be the leader that they can be. The lack of mentorship and guidance results in many managers that abuse power and do not make decisions that actually help. People spend so much time complaining about education while actually missing the key ingredient as to why it is suffering. It boils down to lack of leadership, specifically lacking the support and development to help administrators be amazing leaders.
My own personal issues aside as well as my lack of growth mindset at one time, my critique of education has indeed been sparked by Simon Sinek. I was watching one of his TED talks and he was talking about leadership versus managers. After talking about why great companies start with their why, he goes into details on how the lack of leadership is the main reason why companies fail. Before I get more into that, the why of a company is important. In context of schools, what is the why behind the school? Is there a powerful why? If you do not know, then it is not clear. It is not clear because the leader of the school has not cleared inspired that message and made it important enough. A school, company, or organization with a powerful why will be so clear and inspiring that there will be no way for people not to know it!
Other than his stories of effective uses of marketing in regards to your why, he comments on leaders versus those who lead. Leaders wield power, but those who lead inspire! That is what truly inspired me. Everything that I ever experienced in my ten years in education can be summed up with that short sentence by Simon Sinek. Most “leaders” in education simply wield power. They do not inspire.
There is more to leadership than just inspiration and a powerful why. Essentially, that TED talk really inspired me to learn more about leadership, and the more I learned about leadership, the more I found that my chosen field at that time was severly lacking in the qualities that are necessary for good leadership. This of course included myself. In order for all of us to be successful in whatever we do, we need to take owner ship of all our decisions and be responsible for our own growth. We must be committed to progress. There was a time when I was not committed to my progress, and there were consequences for that. Anyway, we all must learn to be our own leader. Even if you have no desire to actually lead others, it is necessary for all of us to learn about leadership. Just to be effective leaders for ourselves can drastically change our life. Also, when you learn about what other successful leaders do, that can give you an idea on what kind of leader you want to work with.
So it was that TED talk with Simon Sinek that rang a bell in my head that inspired me to change my life, learn about leadership, commit to my own growth and progress, and eventually become an entrepreneur. I would recommend you search youtube for Simon Sinek and listen to some of his talks and interviews. Take a look at the books that he as published and pick one that reasonates with you. All of us need to learn about leadership so we can be our own leader.
Thank You for taking the time to read and reflect. Your welcome to question, comment, and contact me directly.