St. Luke's Center For Leadership

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March 4, 2013

Reflections on NAIS

Any of us who are teachers in the New England region know that February is a hard month.  We’re in the thick of it with classes, sports, and day to day school life.  Winter won’t seem to relent and while we dream of spring, we know it’s really not until April that we can shed the heavy coats and really pack up the snow gear.  February may be a short month but it feels so long.  That’s one of the reasons I love going to NAIS at the end of each February.  It’s jam packed with energy, ideas, and inspiration and after a few days there, I leave invigorated and inspired.  I feel good about what I have accomplished. It gives me that little extra dose of energy to sustain me and I am reminded of why I do what I do.  So, with that in mind, I share a few take aways from my days at NAIS.

1) From Jim Collins, author of Good to Great,: the best leaders have humility and many other qualities but humility is key. I think this is something that gets forgotten often and is something that we should make sure we remind our students of as we teach and encourage them to be leaders. How to teach it? Can it be taught?

2) A reminder from Pat Bassett as he talked about James Madison– Leaders don’t necessarily need positional power to be leaders.  Do your homework, work your network, help others, and communicate clearly.  Leadership comes from those actions.

3) Soumitra Dutta:  We’re in a period of rapid experimentation. Eventually there will be a convergence of ideas that leads to a dominant design. Dominant design is not always the best design but rather, what sticks.  How organizations respond to massive and disruptive change will determine their existence.  This ties in nicely to earlier talks where presenters reminded us to have a plan, have perseverance, and also be willing to evaluate and be flexible.

Just a few things that jumped out at me while listening to interesting and diverse speakers over a few days. With the changes in the world, technology, and thinking around how to educate, I am reminded that there is much to be done and much that can be accomplished.

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