1 year in... Leadership reflections

Where it all began...

I never want to be a manager. I don't want to become a robot- a puppet of someone else's ideas and ideals.
I want to make a greater difference and have a bigger impact. I want dedicated time to achieve everything- a manager it is then!

Learning so far...

Weekends exist?!

I am now regularly having one day off at the weekend. Sometimes I even enjoy having a whole weekend off! This is a HUGE shift as since beginning my working life, I've been rather unaccustomed to the concept of a weekend.

What on earth do I do?!

Forming my own ideas of what my role entails and beginning to establish a sense of that with others. My role is new to the College, new to the sector, new to me, new to all my fellow leaders and so it has been a huge learning curve for me to get to grips with what that is and communicate it to others- I'll be working on the communication part some more!


Being (a little bit) more scientific in my analysis of situations- considering the alternative interpretations and considering how my perception of my own and others' reactions may be skewed.

Big meetings

Ensuring that I have notes with me in big meetings so that I remember all the thoughts I have about an issue or the ideas I'd like to raise. Preparation means I am more able to deal with this rather anxiety-ridden situation.

Why? Why? Why?

I am having more conversations with colleagues about 'why?' 'what's the impact of that?' as I've realised that not knowing this causes problems in me successfully planning, communicating and disseminating the activities/resources/models I've been asked to work on.

The perks...

Accessing new opportunities has become possible with my developed role and skills: arranging the conference was easier this year, networking opportunities are increasing, connections with other schools are growing, meeting at the ETF was a real highlight.

What's next?

Moral compass

Develop strategies to deal with situations that point in an entirely different direction to my own moral compass. I am happy to challenge others when their decisions don't fit my values but I have learnt that others will still make decisions that conflict with my values and I need to learn strategies to cope with this.

Emotional resilience

Continue my emotional resilience development. This job, including the teaching, demands a great deal of me beyond my comfort zone. For some reason, I've chosen a profession that utterly terrifies me so I need to work on more strategies to cope with this.

Avoiding the binge!

Continue with all the work I've done so far relating to workload. Work out how I can avoid bingeing on work when I feel guilty for not having done any for a while- especially when I take some time off!


How do I lead people? A team? My vaguely comfortable zone (comparatively speaking) is most definitely in leading things, but people? Where do I start? This is the part of my leadership journey I've been avoiding and it's really time to tackle it.

Thank you!


A huge thanks must go to Flo. She has been such a fantastic influence on me this year. I have been able to spot patterns of behaviour and I've been armed with strategies I can use to cope with the emotional strain of the job as well as the other demands of working as a leader.


Another big thanks has to go to Steph without whom I wouldn't have made it to the end of this year. At all. She donated me her grit when things got tough and I wanted to give in. I have told her before that we'd be far better off swapping roles- we'll see how the next few months go!

My Action Learning Set

Although we've not been sticking to the structure, we have been working throughout the year to help solve one another's issues and we have experienced much success with this. They have contributed hugely to my development as a leader.

Created with images by Hamed Saber - "Desert Leader" • 2benny - "Relax" • NASA Goddard Photo and Video - "Earth from Space" • nathanmac87 - "Magnifying Glass" • Bill Ward's Brickpile - "Uncle Dan's Gift 3 - BayLUG 10th Anniv Meeting" • BuzzFarmers - "Why?" • gemsling - "Sad happy balloon" • psd - "Trinket Compass" • Kentuckyguard - "Operation Resilient Warrior" • Bryan Maleszyk - "Life itself is the proper binge." • vxla - "METX 614 (F40C) Leads Train No. 2611" • psd - "THANK YOU"

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