Tuesday, February 25, 2014

What Makes a Great Leader?

Recently I participated in a few twitter chats that asked the question-What makes a great Leader?  What qualities does a Leader posses?  I often reflect on my practices and my daily work and see if I have certain qualities that make me an effective leader.  We as leaders talk about them each and every day without even knowing it.   Here are just a few of the characteristics of a great leader:

1. Confidence
   A great leader must have confidence in him/herself and the people that work for/with them.  Confidence to do the right thing, to say the right thing and to know they are doing what is best for the whole.  Being a micromanager doesn't show much confidence in those that you work with.  Be confident in yourself-don't be afraid to fail.  
It really bugs me when parents say they won't let their kids fail.  Yes, I am a parent and I would love nothing better than for my kid to never fail-but if they don't fail how will they even improve or learn from their mistakes or get better!??!  
A Great Leader has Confidence

2. Honesty
A Great Leader must be honest.  Not only must they be honest with their team, staff, co-workers, students, children-but they especially must be honest with themselves.  Once a person has been dishonest it is hard to recover from that.
Parents-be honest with your kids.  Be the leader in your home and tell the truth.  Can you really ever expect your kids to be honest with you if you are not honest with them?  Teachers-be honest with your kids-Does this mean that you have to tell them all your deep, dark secrets? NO! But being honest with them can gain trust and let them know you care.
A leader has to be honest with him/herself.  They have to be able to honestly be abel to look into the mirror and say, "I messed up!" or "I did the right thing."  They can't lie to themselves
A Great Leader is Honest

3. Be a Good Listenter

A Great Leader must be able to listen.  If you talk to much-STOP!  Take a breath and listen.  This goes for teachers, bosses, administrators, and parents.  Focus and Listen to what your co-worker is saying.  Do they need help?  Could you give them advice if you weren't listening?  What is my son/daughter telling me?  Did I really listen?  Can I listen while the TV is on?
Being a good listener is difficult for all of us.  We are so distracted and so many things going on in our life that we forget to stop, look and listen.  Many problems can be solved if people would just LISTEN.

A Great Leader Listens

4. Leads with Heart and Mind
A Great Leader leads with the Heart and the Mind.  They Listen to people and realize they make mistakes, they have imperfect lives and our jobs as leaders is to help them get to where they want to get.  To be a leader you have to care for people.  I mean really care for them.  As a parent-you have to LOVE your child.  If you want them to be a great individual and make good choices you have to love them.  Lead them with your heart and your mind.
The important part of this last part is to make sure you don't separate the two.  You can't lead with just your mind and you can't lead with just your heart.  The two go together-If you lead with just your heart you become to emotionally involved and don't think about the decisions you are making many times.  If you lead only with your mind you may not have full understanding of the situation. There is no emotion.

A Great Leader leads with the Heart and Mind

(I mean does it get any better than this quote!)

Good listener
Leading with the Heart and Mind

Of course there are many more qualities that make a Great Leader, but if you think about many of those others-These 4 can be seen in all them.

Remember-These can apply to any leader.  Maybe you are a husband wanting to lead your wife. Maybe you are a dad trying to lead your family.  Maybe you are a parent trying to lead your son/daughter through a tough situation at school.  Maybe you are an Administrator trying to lead your staff or a teacher trying to lead your department.  In whatever you are doing-You can be a Great Leader-don't just settle for average...

Aren't they worth it?  I know they are to me!

Have a Great Week!

@jfuhrman3932 on Twitter

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Giving-What it really means

Giving is hard for some people.  The want to take, take, take.  Each of us has something inside of us that pushes us to give.  We also have that person over our shoulder many times telling us to be selfish,  do what's best for us, don't worry about the other person-Only worry about Numero Uno!  

To Give according to Dictionary.com = to present voluntarily and without expecting compensation. There were 54 different synonyms that I was able to find for the word, give.  Let's take a few minutes to break down that definition a little more...

1. To present voluntarily

There are many people that need help, many students that need us to "give" them an extra hand in whatever it may be they are struggling with.  There are lists and lists of different professions that that exist.  Some of them make more money than others.  As Educators we don't(I don't care what anyone tells you) go into education to make money.  Obviously we want to support our families and support ourself, but we realize that we are not going to be rich with money because of being in education.  We "volunteer" every day to make a difference in the life of a child.  To make the difference in the life of a co-worker.  
I am so blessed as a parent.  I wanted to be a parent.  My wife and I are so happy to have two little children running our lives.  But you are a parent voluntarily.  You volunteer to be a parent.  Sometimes you may not be happy with the idea, but you are a volunteer-I would argue that you are the biggest and most important volunteer.  

(It's faces like this that make it all worth being a parent-This is my boy Maxxwell)

2. Without expecting compensation

This is where many people get mixed up.  Compensation to many people means that if I give a lot of money maybe I can get a tax kick-back in the end.  If I work hard with this child and this class, maybe I can get a raise or advance in my career.  If I "give" them help maybe when I get old they can take care of me and "give" me some things.  
TO Give means to not expect compensation.  You are giving without necessarily receiving.  

As educators many of us give our lives to help children grow to be a better person.  We want to have that kid come back after high school and just say Thank you.  We want Society to be a better place because of what we have given to a student or parent.  Please don't ever think that "Giving" means giving money-  GIVE A HUG today to someone.  GIVE A SMILE to someone.  GIVE OUT Thank You's!!!    If you give a smile or a compliment is there really any compensation expected or given from that?  

As parents the most important thing we can GIVE is our time.  Spend time with your kids.  I don't mean time where you are in the same room on your phones, watching tv or surfing the internet.  Give them 10 minutes to talk about their day.  Give them time to ask questions.  Give them time to be a kid.  Take away time away from yourself and GIVE to them.  Then sit back and see the "compensation" that you GET from that!

Have an outstanding and blessed week!

BLHS Assistant Principal

follow me on Twitter-@jfuhrman3932

Dates to Remember

February 20, 21st and 22nd- Winter Play
March 1st-  State Powerlifting
March 6th-8th  Sub-State BB @ BLHS
March 14th-March 23rd Spring Break!!!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Understanding the misunderstood

As educators we work with all types of kids.  Some of these kids come from great homes and others come from families that may be less fortunate.  It is so important that we as educators look past the black and white of every situation and see if we can understand the misunderstood.

Some of us look at things in black and white and there are no gray areas. That is our mindset and whether we grew up that way or had a mentor that was that way it is our philosophy when it comes to all things.  Everything is either this way or that and if you do something the consequence is the same no matter what level you did it.  If there are deadlines and you don't meet the deadline-Too bad!
There are times when situations are black and white, don't misunderstand me, but there are also times when you have to look at things through colored glasses.

Kids come from all different types of backgrounds.  Some are raised up with money, some don't get 2 full meals a day, others play playstation by the hour, while there are some that can't afford a new pair of shoes to wear.  There are kids that are loved, abused, hugged, cold, hungry, prayed for, read to before bed and taken care of.  At school we see all of them. We don't always UNDERSTAND why they act like they act.  WHY does a kids sometimes fall asleep during class?  Is it because they stayed up all night playing video games? Or is it because they had to sleep on a sleeping bag on the floor because their family can't afford a bed?

Understanding the misunderstood is all about looking beyond the situation.  See all angles of it.  One of my prior blogs talked about Looking, listening and loving.  What is our purpose as educators?  What is our purpose as parents?

Please don't misunderstand me, there are situations that may be black and white and it is what it is-but there is always more to the story than you think.

Make sure you don't dismiss a kid because you were too stubborn to look beyond.

Parents-Do what's best for your child(even if it may not be whats best for you!)

(This is my family-Kassi, Maxxwell and that little blonde girl-Kennadi, They make every day an adventure and they are the reason that I do what I do.)

Hope all are enjoying those snow days!



BLHS Dates to look forward to:

Feb. 14th-Courtwarming
Feb. 15th-Courtwarming Dance 7pm
Feb. 17th--No school(President's Day)
Feb. 20th-22nd- Winter Play

First Week in March -BLHS will host Sub-State Basketball

March 17-22  Spring Break