Growing up in a competitive society it’s difficult to wrap your mind around losing. As an All American Athlete at the University of Michigan, losing was something that got me blasted by my friends and teammates. In the athletic arena losing teaches you that you have to try harder, work out longer, change your techniques to compensate for weaknesses and rely on your teammates and coaches to put you in the best possible position to win.
In business losing is even more cut throat and means you could lose your job. In education, the stakes are even higher and losing means you might be destroying a child’s life. Under these circumstances it’s hard being a loser and it’s hard trying new things. However as a Principal, you are in a leadership position in order to make decisions in which losing is a real possibility. Below are three reasons you should want to lose.
Trying innovative programs and ideas can galvanize your staff. If your building is filled with stale ideas from the past and cynicism about the future, the courage to try something new can help break you out of the malaise. In my building we started using public transportation to get our kids to school. This change helped to establish our program as different and created a clear separation from the past.
Shows a Growth Mindset
Schools are not to big to fail. As the Principal trying new things, failing at them and then learning from them is an essential part of leadership. Being a continual learner is an example for your staff and your students. Talking about your learning process and being truthful about losing experiences helps make you relatable.
Being vulnerable is an exercise in courage, especially when you're exposing yourself to criticism. Your staff will, in turn, be comfortable telling their truths and be open to asking for help. Mutual vulnerability creates a culture of community. According to Brene Brown, who was quoted in Harvard Business Review,
"Vulnerability here does not mean being weak or submissive. To the contrary, itimplies the courage to be yourself. It means replacing “professional distance and cool” with uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure."
Losing at something and being truthful about it is an example of vulnerability.
Being a great principal means you will often be in a position to lose. Embrace that fact and lose spectacularly. What are you're reasons for taking a risk like losing? Share in the comment section below. For more tips check out my blog and podcast at theprincipalentrepreneur.com.
I'm a Principal and an Entrepreneur. I'm the former owner of a food venture Hustling Hoagies, the author of the children's picture books Detective Dwayne Drake and the Alphabet Thief, Detective Dwayne Drake and The Case of the Mathematical Misfit and the ebook Making it as a Male Model in Michigan. I've worked professionally as a model and commercial actor......