Women in School Leadership Forum: Raising your POI (Person of Impact)

Learners vs. learned. The difference?

The learned looks at the world that doesn’t exist anymore. Meanwhile the learners are charting exciting futures for schools, districts, systems, kids and the families they’re connecting with.

Jackie Freiberg PresentingThat’s how bestselling author Jackie Freiberg began her discussion during the final keynote session at the Women in School Leadership Forum, Friday, Oct. 2, in Coronado, Calif.

“Leaders are learners who know themselves. They know their strengths, weaknesses, most admired qualities and flaws,” said Freiberg, co-author (along with her husband Kevin) of Be a Person of Impact. Other books the husband and wife time co-wrote include NUTS!, GUTS! and BOOM!  

“What makes you unforgettable?” Freiberg asked her audience. The question preceded a discussion about a person’s own brand, or as she put it, the brand not of your school or your district, but “You,” adding, “A personal brand is what people say about you when you leave the room.”

Related Reading: Women in School Leadership Forum: Fashioned to Reign

Helpful strategies she shared as a way to charter a new and exciting future include:

  • Self-evaluation: In order to improve your school, office, district, etc., you have to improve yourself. It’s the key to being a person of purposeful impact. Learners constantly find ways to “wax their own shelves.”
  • Keep good company: You are known by the company you keep. That company can either draw you up or drag you down. For whom do you need to show up? Relationships are one of the most cherished, deeply human needs. Instead of giving “stuff” to people, give presence to people (family, friends, colleagues).
  • Become a connoisseur (of a passion or a hobby): Tap into talents you know you have, to have an impact, not only with yourself but with others.
  • Communicate well: Say what you mean, mean what you say but don’t say it mean. The only way to communicate well is to understand the people you’re communicating with.
  • Manage your own mind, control your emotions: We can teach ourselves to be optimistic. These thoughts influence your students, staff and colleagues.
  • Interested vs. interesting: If you’re interested, you ask questions. If you’re interesting, you tell, tell, tell. People of impact know how to create a balance of both. Most people don’t listen with the intent to understand—they listen with the intent to reply. If this happens to you, check yourself. People of impact become of CEOs of their future. They need to listen. Leaders of today know how to ask.
  • Exercise. Most people sit 9.3 hours a day.
  • Move, move, move. Rest if you have to. Find something you like and do it every day.

Freiberg concluded her discussion by saying, “Leadership isn’t about he. Leadership isn’t about she. Leadership is about ‘we.’ We are not called to compete with our colleagues. We are called to complete our colleagues, friends and family members.”

For more information, access #WSLF15.

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