I would like to wish you a happy and healthy New Year. As we begin the New Year of 2016 together, I like many, am eager to begin anew and personally set many New Year’s resolutions. Each year, personally and professionally I try and set some goals and I attempt to stick to them.
My professional goals this year include reviewing the work of an expert in leadership who has truly inspired me in my work in my past leadership roles. I know many of you know my background of working as a teacher in Winchester and then working as a principal in a nearby community. When I returned to Winchester as the principal of Lynch School over five years ago, I became introduced to this guru who is well known in the business world and truly became an enthusiastic follower of his. Some of you may be familiar with Ken Blanchard. His work may be known to you as he is the author of many books, such as The One Minute Manager. Ken is world renowned in the business world because his message is one of hope. He believes that great leaders need to be first servants to the people that they lead. In fact he calls the term being a “serving leader”. He states that when you are serving, you are taking action. In a recent blog of his (http://howwelead.org/2015/12/23/putting-servant-leadership-into-action/), Ken explained that to be a serving leader you have to be present, be accepting of others and use creativity.
I believe that this simple philosophy is a great model for all of us as we plan our goals for next year. We as educators (or parents for that matter) need to be present with the people that we live with, work with and connect with. We need to be free from distractions and simply be present and attend to those we care about. In our new integrated world, that is seriously a challenge. In addition, serving leaders need to accept others where they are. We need to look at the strengths of those around us and also look for areas of growth. The third tenet of Ken’s philosophy is that great serving leaders need to use creativity and I totally agree with that idea. I often tell people that I am not a creative person and in some ways that is true, I’m not skilled in the arts or athletics. However, I believe I do have a creative side. I believe that some of my creativity is seen in the work that I have done working with people in the classroom and of course, at the building level.
Ken’s last statement in his articles is “the job of the serving leader is to build a community where everyone feels they are part of the big picture.” I will continue to set that goal each day at WHS and I thank the staff, parents and of course students for their support in my role at WHS this year.
Chris Kelley, Interim Principal