It's Always About Implementation
When I first started consulting, I realized overwhelmingly, I was consulting around the How To of implementation.
I worked with incredible administrators and teachers that had incredible ideas and were stuck in some phase of connecting and/or implementing them.
When I dug into why, it was also, overwhelmingly, because the folks leading the change- consumed with the thousands of decisions they were making on a daily basis- needed help carving out the time and space to think strategically and reflect on How To.
This is when I added coaching to the services I was providing educational leaders.
Interestingly, in the last few months, I have had multiple administrators reach out for coaching, not around implementation, but around how to leave administration and start a business like I did.
We need good people to run schools and school districts. We also need the best version of people tackling a whole boatload of challenges in the education space.
While the function of my practice is not to coach folks out of the profession, it has come up so often recently, that I captured a few things to consider before you decide whether or not to hang out a shingle.
First, ask yourself honestly, “Am I running to something or away from something?”
If the answer is the former, these are three shifts I had to make in my thinking since I began my coaching and consulting business.
Decide WHO not WHAT you are:
In edu-language, you are a principal, a superintendent, a director of curriculum. But those are titles. They say nothing about who are and what value you will bring to others in the education space.
Who are you without that title?
What will be different for people because they got to spend 4 hours or two days with you?
As an educational leader I used to have a test group I would send content to before sending it out to the masses. Typos? Forgot a content area on the PL schedule? Somebody I forgot to celebrate?
As a consultant I share collateral with clients in DRAFT form all.the.time. 95 percent of the work I say yes to I have never done before. I ask questions, learn from others, and figure it out as I go along. It is messy and rocky and terrifying and simultaneously, so.damn.interesting.
Are you willing to let go of perfect for so.damn.interesting?
As an educational leader your ability to galvanize folks around outcomes of your (hopefully collaborative) design is part of your responsibility. As a consultant, you absolutely have to galvanize people around outcomes, but you don’t own any of them.
Though you have a big part in helping develop the process, you really don’t own that either. What you do own, is the relationship, and trust is your only collateral.
Can you invest in people you don’t know to do work you might never see fully realized in service of learning and trust?
If the answer is not that you are running toward the world of consulting and/or coaching, but away from a role that doesn’t necessarily feel like the work you set out to do as an educational leader, consider this:
Is educational leadership no longer your work? Or can no longer see yourself in educational leadership?
You will want to explore that answer before you decide to stay or go.
Good luck. Holler if I can be of help.