Questioning, connecting, and something else???

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We’ve been challenged to think about a leadership headline or mantra. Leadership needs different things according to the circumstances and skills of the leader, so the idea is to try to distill what you are trying to achieve.

The first part of mine is easy – I think one of the most important things I do is questioning. Why are we doing things this way? What are you trying to get out of this? What is causing the problem here? Have you thought about?

And I think the best answers come from connections. This might be connecting people who are working on similar things, or information that comes from different places, or projects that become richer or more efficient when they are brought together.

But the last one has me stumped. I know exactly what I want it to be, but can’t think of the way to encapsulate it.

One of the things I’ve seen over and over again is having too much knowledge resting with one person. When they leave, no-one can find anything on the server, or remember how to organise the sports carnival, or what the process is for a student who needs an individual behaviour plan.

Then there are the things we all do over and over again, like programming, data analysis or contacting parents.

If you start from scratch every time, think of all the creative energy you use having to think of what to do Every. Single. Time. This is why I am an enormous believer in processes and structures. Some people think they are rigid, but I see the opposite – by taking care of the what, they let me spend all my creativity and imagination on how, and still be confident that I’ve included all the important things.

I feel one of the most important roles of a leader is to give their people this structure and boundaries. Let your imaginations run wild and be the best you can be, so long as you stay within these walls. You will always be sure of what I am asking for, because it is all on this list and the same every time. (Except of course when we refine it together.)

So I know exactly what it is, but it’s hard to boil it down to one word. ‘Structuring’ doesn’t quite cut it, or ‘giving boundaries.’ For the moment, I’m stuck with

Questioning, connecting, and something else.

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