Try this tip: Be the change.
This week I visited with school and district leaders striving to improve their culture and organizational alignment, their service to stakeholders, and their conversations about improving practice. They are committed to these improvements that will make school better for their students, make work better for their employees, and help parents feel more confident about where they send their children each day. What I most appreciated in my visits this week was the examples set by district leaders who lived Gandhi’s sage advice to “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” The leaders I watched this week modeled dedication, humility, self-awareness, vulnerability, and an openness to transparent accountability . They provided a concrete example of the change they wish to see in their organizations, in ways like this:
- Reflecting openly about the gift of feedback, even when it didn’t feel like a delightful present
- Showing the importance of serving stakeholders in ways that make them say, “Wow!” by being present and learning alongside employees
- Agreeing to public accountability through a transparent and measurable evaluation process
- Building on current success while also demanding continued improvement, so that all students achieve success in a district’s schools
While we sometimes say, “Walk the walk,” “Practice what you preach,” or “Model the desired behavior,”Ghandi’s version engages my heart and mind. It activates my commitment to making the world a better place. It connects our work in schools to the actions of those far beyond our walls who foster community development, seek electoral office, protect us from danger, march the streets, advocate in courts, and do their part to make our world the place that future generations want and deserve. I am grateful for all of them, and reminded that I, too, must “Be the change.”