We all know the well know aphorism “Do as I say, not as I do” which harks back throughout medieval times and is reported as going back at least to the New Testament when in St Matthew’s gospel we read (23:2) Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to His disciples: “The scribes and Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So practice and observe everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.… I suppose really what I am saying goes back even further, and that hypocrisy probably evolved to coincide with the dawn of Homo Sapiens.
Those that have got to know me over the decades I have been in leadership know that I speak about the need for Leadership to evolve, and not just because of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats stuff that underpin the ‘SWOT’ analysis. I suspect I commenced in the 1980s in the style of Henry V, these days rather unkindly called Saviour leadership perhaps. All well and good of course, but once Henry contracted dysentery on the battlefield in 1422, he died at the very young age of 35, and his leadership died with him. The ‘Industrial Society’ held training courses for new leaders in 1983, and I remember having my socks blown off by the ideas around developing other people around you so that, when push comes to shove, lots more people are prepped and ready to jump into the breach.
I’ve reinvented myself many times (1986-8 forced into academic leadership because of the arrival of new GCSE exams), in 1993 to become a ‘Diamond educator’ because of the acquisition of the College site and the 140+ girls therein, in the late ’90s & Noughties by the introduction of our Values Education approach, then the arrival of Cloud learning and the Claires Court Essentials and finally with the current Question based curriculum with Simon Sinek’s proposition at the fore – “Ask Why first!”
The arrival of Derek Sivers ideas on How to start a movement has set me thinking. For the moment, I’ll leave my thoughts silent – and do let Derek take you through his thinking on how to start a movement.
As Claires Court eases itself gently away from #lockdown and #covidrestrictions, we have the opportunity to genuinely spring-clean and throw out clutter that as a school we no longer should be making use of. The challenge will be to decide how to identify what’s clutter, and to ensure that what take its place is leaner, simpler and better articulated than hitherto. And because there is so much to do, I can’t have people relying on me to do that all on my own.
As I say, I am pondering what will my dance steps look like on the hillside? Who will I have prepped to join the fray and be early adopters too? Whilst I feel sure that many like the idea of an academic and pastoral spring clean, many are adverse to chucking stuff out, because what happens when suddenly they find they need ‘it’ once more. I should know for living in an Edwardian house, there is no chance of finding replacement bits and pieces for so much in my house, that I save, nurture and rebuild whenever I can. I’ve become a huge fan of the current BBC series, Repairs Workshop, and I’ve been privileged to be acknowledged by Laithwaites who carried the story of Oompah and his grandson’s toy lorry. Which rather permits me to suggest I still have a strong affection for Architect-builder Leadership, and often put my beliefs into practice!