In designing anything, especially change, collaboration is a must. Not only is it valuable in gaining consensus and developing partners, but it is a valuable tool in gaining insights that do not reside within the person leading the experience.
With this, there must be a balanced awareness that comes with making a decision. When we rightfully gather a group of invested people to support and design change, leaders must be prepared to make a decision. Without it, we unintentionally lessen the collaboration, disrespect the knowledge in the room and ultimately kill momentum.
Why do we hesitate to make decisions?
Lack of Confidence
Leadership requires a confidence that is fueled by a humble navigation of success and public ownership found in making and acknowledging excellent mistakes. It is a mindset of consistency in sharing that we are in this together with clearly communicating motives grounded in doing what is best for the students, teachers, families and communities that we serve.
A Need to Be Right
Pride is a fascinating thing. Leaders that are overly concerned about being “wrong” will never guide their teams and community to their full potential. Use it as a valuable ingredient for success, but recognize the right quantity as you make each decision. I recommend an internal and external audit from someone that will “keep it real” through insights based on a calibrated lens that is focused on the outcome.
Be cautious of any leader that cannot acknowledge their weaknesses. Be even more concerned with those that have not identified individuals that can offset their weaknesses through partnered strengths. We only know what we know and if we are upfront in facing that reality, the door to learning will open wide.
Fear of Discourse
Tension, when delivered as a valuable part of the decision making process, becomes a positive phase of designing for change. This discourse will accelerate, not extinguish collective momentum and deliver added depth to shared understanding.
Through it all, wherever your leadership path may take you, lean into relationships and the vulnerability that is required to make decisions. Build trust through your actions and publicly reflect with thankful celebration of what lies next.
For more, see:
- Empower Learners: 10 Lessons on Innovation Leadership
- Find a Way to Yes: 9 Leadership Lessons from Pam Moran
- Navigating School Leadership: 5 Lessons
- Getting Smart Podcast | 21 Insights: Adventures in Learning to Lead
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