At this time of the year, we start to reflect on what has been achieved throughout the year. This could include the effectiveness of our personal, professional and school goals and strategic intentions. As part of the reflection process we gather evidence from staff, students and community. It is important to take the time to look below the surface, to dig deeply beyond the events and behaviors and to identify the systems, structures and mental models which contribute to the current reality.
Most importantly we need to take the time to reflect on ourselves and our leadership capabilities and priorities. As part of the LESNW learning labs throughout the year we have provided principals and leaders time, tools and practices and a supportive social field to do just that, a safe place where we can be honest with each other, where we can challenge and support each other, where we can clarify ‘Who is my Self?” and “What is the Work?”.
Jesus was pretty clear when it came to reflecting on the “Who is my Self?” and “What is the Work?” Just check in on (Luke 18: 9-14) the tax collector and the Pharisees or, Jesus condemnation of the Pharisees and teachers of the law of Moses (Luke 11: 37-52). God is not impressed by those who openly brag about the good they do and the evil they have avoided, focusing on their status and superiority. God cares about the heart, about compassion, about inclusion and about love, not about hierarchy and control of others.
What does that mean for us as leaders in Lutheran learning communities? I guess it means deep reflection of ourselves, our motivation, the inner space. Reflecting on the Capabilities in “Growing deep” can help us to identify our blind spots.
The tax collector in the temple knew his current reality, and as a result, was able to move to a preferred future, whereas the Pharisee couldn’t see any need to change anything in himself, stuck in his perceived reality which had no need for improvement!
So where do we start? I believe the same place the tax collector did, acknowledging our true self to God. This takes humility and courage, as it is not only about acknowledging who we are, but it’s allowing God to work in us and with us. The reflective process allows God’s unconditional love to flow into us and in turn enables us to reflect this love to all those we live and work with.
Blessing to you as you reflect!
Educational Leadership Director