I just completed my coursework for my leadership certificate. Of course I’ve got a few small hoops that consist of paperwork, but I’m relieved that I’ve summited that mountain. However, this summit just provides me a better view of the next one.
I’m reminded of the people who served a role in getting me on my current path. I had no interest in becoming a school leader until I connected via Twitter. Before Twitter, I could count on one hand the number of school leaders I knew with an unusual passion for improving schools and empowering those around them. Thankfully, I got the opportunity right after college in 2009 to work for and develop a lasting relationship with one of those school leaders. I left a job last summer that required a five minute drive and accepted a position in a school that requires a fifty minute drive one way. I took that position so I could work for another local school leader from whom I knew I could learn and grow. Through Twitter, I was introduced to a network of school leaders who all share an unusual passion for what they do. That lead to some irreplaceable relationships developed across social media and face to face through Edcamps.
As I pursue this next chapter in my career, I’m also reminded of the local educators who I’ve connected with that share an unusual passion for driving change in our state. I intentionally go to extraordinary measures to tell my story and as a result of frequenting as many areas of social media as I possibly can, and attending as many conference events that I can, I’ve been able to seek out other passionate educators who share a moonshot vision for change. The more I read and listen to leaders like Seth Godin, the more I’m convinced that if you want to bring true value to your organization, be someone who brings people together. The people in our society who are linchpins, irreplaceable people in organizations, don’t become linchpins alone. A fundamental function of the internet is to bring people together. Think about it. Name something successful on the internet that has not brought people together. I fear that educators, in general, have ignored the internet over the last twenty years and neglected to leverage the power of connection to other people. Wonder why Weight Watchers is so successful? It brings people together. Dieting alone has failed millions of times. Try dieting with a group or network of other people who share the same passion. Weight Watchers hasn’t stumbled upon any revolutionary science, they just brought people together. I am thankful for those local linchpins I’ve met in the last three years that continue to inspire and motivate me to pursue that next mountain. I am convinced that if true change is to occur in our state, it will start with us.
Finally, I want to thank my wife that has always provided our home and our relationship with the right soil that allows me to grow and pursue those next mountains. She, too, is a linchpin. I highly recommend future educators seek out a lifelong companion that shares similar passions 🙂