01 Oct SCHOOL LEADERSHIP & THE IMPOSTER SYNDROME
School Leadership can be tough! I’ve had a really difficult week meeting an important deadline. It seemed like a tsunami of problems started coming at me to stop me from meeting that deadline.
Does that ever happen to you? Yep, I bet it does!
You know what I’m talking about don’t you? Those times when you make the time to plan your week and commit to your top priorities. Those times when you psyche yourself up knowing you will achieve your top goals by the end of the week. You feel great.
Then all of a sudden ‘things’ come out of the woodwork like head lice, parent complaints, the school’s website goes down, two amazing teachers pop up on your radar and you want to recruit them a.s.a.p. and of course the wifi network goes down! Arrgghhh.
Well that was my week and by Tuesday I doubted my ability to meet that BIG IMPORTANT DEADLINE.
I decided to have a very serious conversation with myself!
You see, I’ve been lucky. Over the years as a Principal and Head of School I’ve learnt a great deal. So I went for a walk and thought about some different strategies I would now employ.
For many years I had heard of ‘The Imposter Syndrome’ but had never actually made the time to read up on it. So a few years back I purchased The Imposter Syndrome: Becoming an Authentic Leader on Kindle to find out more about it.
What I found out was amazing! Yes we all know about self-talk and yes we all know that often we doubt ourselves, and sometimes can’t believe that we have what it takes to be in a leadership position. But I learnt that 75% of people suffer from The Imposter Syndrome. Everyone has self-talk going on inside their heads and basically your inner conscience has two voices trying to control your thinking and consequently your actions.
One voice is your Inner Critic and the other voice is your Inner Coach.
Your Inner Critic loves you and wants to keep you safe and calm and happy. So your Inner Critic will tell you things like “Of course you can’t meet that deadline, look at all those interruptions you’ve had.” “You don’t know enough about the issue. You can’t get that deadline completed.” “You haven’t collaborated enough with everyone on the team.” “The team will not agree with you”. “You really don’t know what you’re doing, do you?” “OMG you’re so disorganized…” and the voice goes on and on if you let it and of course you become defeated and go home feeling exhausted and miserable.
However, your Inner Coach loves you too. And the great thing about your Inner Coach is that it really wants you to grow and develop. Your Inner coach is encouraging. Your Inner Coach helps you to believe in yourself, find solutions to these problems so you can achieve the deadline, or an application for a new position, or to run a half marathon or whatever you want to do.
Your Inner Coach Rocks! Actually, you often use it to help others but sadly you forget to use it on yourself.
So I ramped up my Inner Coach on Wednesday and I actually completed my important deadline on Thursday, a day early!
As a 21st Century School Leader you experience challenges and complex situations every day. Growing your Inner Coach is such a critical factor in your success as a self-managing leader.
I have learnt many more leadership strategies and tools over the years and I would love to share them with you at my next 2-day workshop at NIST International School in Bangkok. Our schools need people like you to step up and take on those leadership challenges and bring change to our schools to meet the needs of 21st Century Learners.
If you would like to know more about Leadership in the 21st Century click here.
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