On Friday I managed to catch up with a dear friend from my uni days after spending the day in meetings. I was getting the coffee in and there was a chap straight out from the Gillette adverts. All chiseled and clean cut buying his latte and books on leadership. One about your first 100 days in leadership and the other was on being a motivational leadership.
Seriously, the authors of these books must be raking it in.
I also see the amount of pressure people put themselves under to be moving for promotion and being the leading light in something or other.
I also the amount of money they spend on books and courses.
I suppose leadership takes on many different forms but for me it has always been about being empowered to really engage with teaching and learning and that first level, be able to be that leader that the children need. My experience in the UK and further afield has given me the experience to know what good teaching looks like. Executing that of course is a different thing.
However, there is a big bit of me that is desperate to scream just bog off and let me do my job.
I have found myself in leadership roles where I am leading teams, groups, staff and in some cases bigger groups on a bigger scale and so far so good.
Have I read any books on leadership? Eh no.
Have I been to a course on effective management? No.
Have I studied all the theories on management and leadership? Yes. No, I haven’t really.
However, I have watched and learned. I have listened and I have taken the things that work for me and tried to build on them to get the best from anyone I work with.
Interesting thing is that I have always had really strong female role models as leaders and my style has been very much influenced by that.
Today I was in a department with a male PT and it is really interesting to see how he manages compared to how I managed my department. Very different dynamic and different ways of handling situations to get the same outcome. We were both invited to go and speak to a group of headteachers, mostly women and he quickly passed to me to speak. My opening gambit was to apologise for the state of my hair and shoes ( yes, in trainers) then carry on with business. My colleague laughed at the end and said he loved the way I had broken challenging news and got everyone to be calm and agree to move forward. All that because I was wearing trainers and needed to pin the unruly curls up!
My day finished with a quick dive into a music shop to pick up a new capo for my daddy. I walked into the guitar shop and honestly, it was the most uncomfortable situation I have been in for a long time. They might as well have shouted out ” you’re not from around these parts”
4 pairs of eyes staring at me had me convinced I had had a fashion malfunction. Were my leadership knickers on show? Did I have a zip down? Eh no.
I dared to be a female in a guitar shop who knew what she wanted.
Apparently they had not heard of the type I wanted, so I asked them to check if they could order it for me.
Oh, imagine, they could. He then proceeded to try and sell me the cheapest as that would be best.
Eh? Hello? What about aiming high? What about knowing your customer?
I didn’t buy the cheap one but didn’t feel the need to explain who it was for ( the legend that is my dad)
Aye, maybe they needed a leadership course on how to breathe and give good customer service.
I’m off to do some effective management of the washing now, and a packet of malteasers.
Mammy points: 8/10 ( a bit late in tonight)
Manolo points 5/10 ( outrageous trainers)
Methodology 7/10 just for getting on my soap box