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Leadership in schools is changing! Yes, really changing.

Leadership has emerged as a very valuable 21st Century skill, not only for Principals and Heads, but for leadership at all levels of a school including student leadership. Schools have often been managed well in the past, but now it’s time for a whole new generation of Leaders to step up. Here are some great suggestions from two successful practising leaders that are sure to provide you something to reflect on over your Spring/Autumn break.

Mei-Lyn Freeman, Curriculum Coordinator at an international school in Korea, attended one of my recent workshops in March. She left the workshop all fired up with ideas and passion and with a determination to take some action. So guess what she did?

Mei-Lyn created her own website and started her very own blog. She shared this exciting news with me via Skype just days after the workshop, so I have invited her to be a Guest Blogger on the Think Strategic for Schools website.  

Here are Mei-Lyn Freeman’s Top 5 Tips for Aspiring 21st Century Leaders.

1. Celebrate

Maxine @maxinedriscoll is an amazing leader in education so I chose to go to her workshop to grow as a leader. I also wanted to meet Maxine face-to-face as I have been mentored by her 21st Century Think Strategic ideas, inspiring story, and energy. Maxine is all about empowering 21st Century Leaders and getting on board the revolution in education! I must celebrate meeting this amazing role model, and how she instilled a passion in me that has given me momentum to take action with my creative ideas. Every day we have something to celebrate. Feel proud of your accomplishments, you ARE making a difference!

2. Empower Others

Find out what motivates others and push them to shine! We all feel better about ourselves and strive to do more when our actions come from within. Allow your team to have a voice, to take action, and share ideas. I am fortunate to have the opportunity to coach and mentor teachers and students every day. I especially love seeing creativity shine through with a new idea, new approach, or new learning. By creating opportunities for this to happen, people feel empowered to share. Go and inspire others to shine!

3. Create a Growth Mindset

Challenge yourself to learn something new and change your mindset! I have chosen to really focus on my relationship with food. I am on a journey with food to discover where my cravings come from, the emotions attached, and how I can mindfully eat healthier. I have also decided to learn Korean, to really take the time to appreciate the language of the country I live in. Thirdly, I have chosen to grow creatively by learning to play the guitar. I’ve been learning to play for the past 12 years, and I notice a pattern in this learning that has been fixed. It’s time for me to grow and really learn how to play this beautiful instrument!

4. Build Relationships

Making authentic connections with people is an important part of international school leadership – or any leadership. Begin with your relationship with you. Spend time with yourself, get to know who you are as a leader; which includes your strengths and challenges. Discover your passions, joys, and fears. Find out about your character and why you respond in certain ways. Learn and become more self-aware. Then, take the time to know your team, how you work together, challenge each other, share ideas and collaborate to reach a common goal. Make connections today!

5. Discover Balance

Life serves us what we choose to take on and I have found myself in moments of imbalance between my mind, body, and soul. This imbalance comes from unequal time spent between work, home, friends, and self. It is important to accept the emotions related to being overwhelmed, challenged, afraid, and take action to return to a state of balance. What that looks like is different for all of us, and discovering that perspective is an important journey. I committed to exploring my own balance on February 28th. Rather than previous attempts to find balance externally, I decided to reach inside and discover parts of me that I have been avoiding. I have awakened my heart, brain, and stomach and how they communicate. I’ve decided that it is time to get to know these connections and make them stronger. Being able to juggle and navigate between polarities is an important skill in leadership. Remember to have fun, play and be creative along the way!

What does leadership look like for you? I’d love to hear your top tips too. 

Thank you for joining my journey, let’s be leaders together!

Leave a comment for Mei-Lyn on her blog. Click here because she would really love some feedback on her first ever blog post.

Time to learn more about New Generation School Leadership?

It’s awesome when educational leaders share their experiences and tips so why don’t you….

  1. Visit Mei-Lyn’s blog
  2. Visit my blog. Since 2014 I’ve been sharing everything I have learnt about leadership over the past 20 years (from both my international education masters degree and range of school leadership roles) with educators around the world. I receive amazing feedback about how I am inspiring educational leaders in over 166 countries. It’s awesome because I’m having a positive influence on kids all around the world, not just in my own school.
  3. Start your own leadership blog.
  4. Send your guest blog article to me at maxine@thinkstrategic.com.au so I can post it on the Think Strategic for Schools website.
  5. Consider coming to my next Leadership for the 21st Century Workshop it’s in November at the Professional Learning Hub at NIST International School, Bangkok. I get awesome reviews and I would love to help you grow as a leader because then you will make a positive difference in kids lives all around the world. Click here for more info.
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