Sunday, May 31, 2009

Noble Goals

I recently had the opportunity to complete an emotional intelligence test and have a phone conversation with a consultant from Six Seconds. This model of emotional intelligence focuses on three major areas Know Yourself, Choose Yourself, and Give Yourself. The model can be found at the link above. Of particular interest to me was a section about choosing noble goals. The questions "what gets me up in the morning? What is my life's work? What is my purpose?" are easily lost in days consumed with endless challenges and the "busy-ness" of life. The experience of taking the test and reflecting on it with a consultant gave me a wonderful reflective moment to consider what is truly important to me.

I know that I am at my best when I am driven by meaning and purpose. Clarity of purpose seems to elude me frequently; however, after taking the SEI and examining my results the time seemed appropriate to flesh out my noble goals. I spent a great deal of time considering what truly motivates me and when I feel strong. After a great deal of reflection, I believe that my purpose is to "Awaken and Amplify collective and individual potential."

As a student, athlete, teacher, husband, father, coach, and assistant principal I am driven by the desire to awaken the latent potential in others and myself. There is nothing I enjoy more than the conversations and events that reframe circumstances and awaken the creative potential in all of us. It is the creative construction of possibilities in the form of an ideal self that did not exist before that motivates my thoughts and actions.

I am confident that the support I received from teachers, coaches, and parents awakened in me possibilities that I never would have considered. Identity is socially constructed and when others hold up a mirror not of what is but of what is possible... only then do we truly extend ourselves towards the excellence that lives within us.

As I consider the deep challenges that face public school, and more importantly the challenges that face our young people who will live and work in a dynamically different world there is no doubt that the time to awaken and amplify potential is now. I cannot imagine a better opportunity to hold up the mirror of possibility than in the role of principal. I am reminded of the literature review of leadership over the past 100 years by the Gallup Organization referenced in the book High Impact Leadership which found that the only consistent positive finding in leadership literature is the Pygmalion Effect. Our expectations of others matter, and the people we serve will rise or fall based on those expectations. When I consider that fact, it is clear to me that I have a tremendous resposibility as a leader, parent, teacher, and coach to expect the very best from the poeple who matter most.

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