Crafting Your Leadership

Outside of what your vision and mission statement is for your organization, the other most crucial aspect of your leadership success depends on how you craft your leadership.

Why? Because as leaders, we are continually making decisions about the people we lead, the culture in which we are, and the strategy of how to always move forward.

So… how do we craft our leadership to meet the above decisions?

Question… Does the culture determine your leadership, or does your leadership determine the culture?

We will pause right here to let you think about it…

I believe how we answer that question will determine how we craft our leadership based on the ideas mentioned above of making decisions about the people we lead, and the strategy of moving forward.

One crucial aspect to consider is knowing who our target audience is. When we truly understand our audience, it is easy to craft our leadership. That is why it is so important to know your people. Knowing your people allows you, as the leader, to have a more significant influence with your leadership.

I have always thought of crafting your leadership as to “whittling.” I can remember my grandfather whittling a stick with his pocket knife, really never knowing what the end product would be until it was finished. As I think about the comparison, I see that he was making a decision about what he wanted to do with the stick he had. It was amazing to see some of the “crafting” he did.

In the end, he determined what he wanted to craft out of a stick. With that being said, I’ll answer the question above… I believe it is the same for us in our leadership, we determine our culture based on our leadership decisions. As a leader, I want to help define the culture, not the other way around. The only way we can do that is to continually craft our leadership to meet that challenge.

It’s been a long time since I found a stick to sit and whittle. I just might do that this weekend.

Go be a great educator and leader today… Our future needs it…

Remember… Think Leadership and Be For Others

©2020 J Clay Norton

Want more Leadership Thoughts?  Follow me on…

Image result for small facebook icon

Want to share this leadership thought with others? Click on one of the social media sharing buttons below and help spread the good…

Honoring “TIME” in Your Classroom…

“I can’t wait for the bell to ring.” Who makes this statement?

The student or the teacher? Or, both?

Being in education, now for 25 years, I would dare say both. But why? A lesson too hard, students too bad, you do not feel well, students disconnected, etc… the list can go on and on.

Here is what I believe, as a classroom teacher, your ability to manage or mismanage time somehow equates to your classroom management or mismanagement.

How many teachers do you see/know that are not prepared for “the day” of teaching? Forget about planning ahead; they usually plan behind… No one, even students, should have respect for unpreparedness. Especially from a professional adult. Now, some can get by with “winging it.” I know a few people like that, but eventually, that “wing” will snap and…

I have also been thinking about how time “flies” (I tend to do that the older I become). What I have figured out… it does, especially if you are enjoying your time. You know where this is going… Do you and your students enjoy your time together? I figure some of you are saying, “You don’t know my students.” You are correct, I don’t, but we know people, and we know ourselves. Find a way to make your class enjoyable because it starts with you. An inviting environment does wonders for time.

Time best spent is when everyone is involved. When a teacher “hijacks” the classroom, like money, students feel cheated. Or, if you always teach to a particular group in your class. You should not have to convince your students you know your subject. The goal is to convince the students they know the subject. Help them make their own discoveries and connections. Teach and facilitate your lessons and fill in the gaps when they have questions.

Most importantly, be prompt and pace the lessons. Contrary to popular belief, not everyone learns at the same pace. Yes, you might just have to repeat or redo some parts. And you know what, that’s good teaching. Do not rush a lesson because you have to get to the next standard or section. You might miss a valuable foundation that can change someone’s learning.

As a leader in the classroom, you take responsibility for the timing and the environment. This goes for any leader in any situation. All you need to do is change the classroom to a meeting or function and change lessons to agendas.

Of all the “things” educators cannot control, the two things that we can is our classroom time and management. Set one, and the other should follow. You set the standard with both, and please do not lower them.

Go be a great educator today… Our future needs it…

Remember… Think Leadership and Be For Others

©2020 J Clay Norton

Want more Leadership Thoughts?  Follow me on…

Image result for small facebook icon

Want to share this leadership thought with others? Click on one of the social media sharing buttons below and help spread the good…

Reaching a Student’s Heart…

Never to miss an opportunity to write about the seasonal theme… Happy Valentines.

Does the door of your classroom describe happiness? Or does it create doom and gloom? Just like the entryway into your classroom, the same can be said for the entryway into your students; their heart, and you are the doorkeeper.

We do not always know what students bring when they walk into our classrooms, but we do know that we have them for an allotted amount of time each week. We must know their name, listen to their stories, and answer their questions. In return, odds are, they will do the same.

Reaching a student’s heart is not an easy task. As educators, we are more psychologists than we are anything else. The world we live in is moody, fickle, and most often stubborn. If we are the same, then why would we expect our students to be any different? I realize our job is to teach our subject, but more than that, we are to encourage students; build them up. They are already being torn down in other areas… We need to try to summon the best out of them. We might not reach them all, but the effort, on our part, should not be denied. I find it amazing what a little bit of affirmation does for a student.

As a leader, teacher, whatever your role is… Do you distribute happiness for a student’s heart? Or are students left forgotten in the back of the class? Are you willing to reach out? When you do, respect takes on a whole new dimension. Respect is just being mindful of others. A simple hello and acknowledging a student shows intention on your part; why would you not?

Reaching a student’s heart… small endeavors by you could mean something huge for a student. I would dare say that most young people want a sense of belonging. Help them find that with you. Nothing more than a kind word is the purest of all gestures. Odds are they will not recall a whole lot of the subject matter you teach, but they just might remember how you made their heart feel.

Each of us has this opportunity every day. Make good on it… and tell your students Happy Valentines today.

Remember… Think Leadership and Be For Others

©2020 J Clay Norton

Want more Leadership Thoughts?  Follow me on…

Image result for small facebook icon

Want to share this leadership thought with others? Click on one of the social media sharing buttons below and help spread the good…

Yo-Yo Leadership…

We can all agree or should, at least, that leadership is not about popularity. Oh, but how many “leaders,” think and lead that way.  You know them…

What begins as, hopefully, a genuine desire to serve others in leadership soon can become nothing more than an act of impressing others. If a leader’s leadership depends on the applause and approval of others, the genuineness, or lack of, is so apparent, people get blindsided because of it. And there lies the problem….

I read something the other day about popularity being similar to a yo-yo. I thought it was funny because we all know some yo-yos. Yo-yo up, yo-yo down. Now, it has been a while since I toyed around with a yo-yo, but as I reflect, I can definitely see how the analogy takes true. As the yo-yo goes down, gravity takes over, everything is natural. As the yo-yo comes back up, it is drawn back with a force of having to get back to the top.

As I thought more about popularity and the yo-yo, I transferred the concept to leadership. Does your leadership, naturally work, or are you leading because of a controlling force? And the most critical question to answer today is, “Is that controlling force your wanting to be liked?” When things are going well, we strut and swag; when not, we drop our head and mope. When your wanting to be liked becomes the “want of your day,” nothing good happens. It makes you miserable (it should) and others around you miserable.

Let people like you because they see true leadership in you. It seems that a reoccurring theme in my blogs is talking about “being for others.” I think we should; why would we not? But it is tough to be for others when we are for ourselves first. It goes back to a thought I had the other day… “Finding value in what we know instead of what we think carries greater leadership responsibility.” Lead because you know… If we do not, how can we ask for society to grow to be better leaders? Be popular becasue you are respected, not the other way around. Bottom line… Do not be a yo-yo leader!

Remember… Think Leadership and Be For Others

©2020 J Clay Norton

Want more Leadership Thoughts?  Follow me on…

Image result for small facebook icon

Want to share this leadership thought with others? Click on one of the social media sharing buttons below and help spread the good…