The Year of the Intentional Leader

31 Aug

Yes, I have christened the upcoming 2012-2013 school year as that of the Intentional Leader. This is part of a program created by Giant Impact the amazing hosts of CFA Leadercast. In the Spring of this year, PSD70 participants hosted the day-long Leadercast. It was filled with inspirational speakers and motivating stories. From this opportunity sprung up another ongoing professional development activity. This one could last all year long! And, with the recent engaged work on developing a new vision and mission for our school division, the Intentional Leader focus seemed to fit right in.

The Intentional Leader experience offers daily stories, questions and thoughts to help one discover how you are doing in different foundational areas of leadership. Overall, the daily readings and reflections remind us of our commitment to our work and our personal lives. Each month has a monthly theme, weekly directions and daily activities. Over this school year I will attempt to add my thoughts regularly as I progress through this program.

Monthly Theme: VISION

Leaders can set a visible direction for the future by created a picture of what can occur and inspire others to inherit this vision. With this vision in mind, a leader initiates progress and motivates others to achieve the unimaginable. Having clarity of this vision as well as being able to communicate it effectively will determine what YOU, as a leader, will be able to accomplish.

As commented above our school division undertook the task of revisiting and revamping our dated vision and mission. Through various stakeholder workshops, a new vision and mission were created.

VISION: PSD is a place where exploration, creativity, and imagination make learning exciting and where all learners aspire to reach their dreams.

MISSION: Our purpose is to prepare, engage and inspire our students to be their best in a quickly changing global community.

It also reminds me that one can be a leader at any age and can cast such a strong and effective vision that others WILL and DO follow. Such are the stories behind three infamous Canadian kids, Craig Kielburger and Michael Furdyk and Jennifer Corriero. Craig is of the Free the Children fame and Michael and Jennifer are co-founders of TakingITGlobal. Each of these teenagers saw a need in the world and set out to inspire others to join their causes.

Over this month I will be pondering if my daily activities align with my long-range vision, if PSD’s vision inspires commitment from the Learning Services department, and how I communicate this vision.

Week 1: Personal Vision

“Leaders others well begins with leader yourself well.” (p.6, Intentional Leader) Seeing this quote reminds me of the many other leaders in various disciplines that had to continue through hardship and failures to follow their passion and make their dreams a reality through perseverance.

What may be preventing me from confidently believing in my personal vision in order to find success such as the above personalities achieved? Self-confidence and uncertainty are two thoughts that come to mind immediately. How do I gain the confidence to relay my personal vision and work vision to others? Is my personal vision too vague or not effective enough? I look forward to further reflection in this area.

I am excited that through this Intentional Leader journey with my Learning Services colleagues. Throughout the year, we’ll have time to share our reflections, our learnings and review our progress through this program. To start this all off, I created a personal vision which ended up, in the first attempt, with four sentences:

“I am living a life filled with trust, respect, honesty, perseverance and passion. Nourishing my body with proper nutrition and physical activity makes me alert and happy. I am creating and maintaining healthy relationships with family, friends and colleagues. I work to inspire others to live to their fullest potential.”

Although, this vision is too wordy, I find that writing it down allows me to review my motto. This motto is one of balancing – balancing work and family while inspiring and challenging myself and others. It’s not easy to balance work and family especially since we live in a globalized, 24/7 type of society, but I make daily attempts to make this happen.

I then refined my vision and condensed it into a single sentence:

“My personal vision is to live a life filled with trust, respect, perseverance, healthy relationships, passion, proper nutrition and exercise while inspiring others to reach their potential.” This vision will evolve over this experience or via the comments from others around me. I look forward to continually develop in this area.

Finding time on Friday to think about being intentional about rest, friendship, projects and rejuvenation for the upcoming weekend was something that I have never, ever thought about. What do others need from me this weekend? How will I give time and attention to rest, needed tasks and some fun? And finally, how do I want to feel on Monday? Again, I really enjoy the “intentionality” of these questions. I certainly know that I need to make more time to spend with friends and will work on this for this upcoming year.


Posted by on August 31, 2012 in Uncategorized



2 responses to “The Year of the Intentional Leader

  1. Leah Andrews

    September 4, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    Nicole, thank you for sharing your reflections with us and I look forward to our year of learning together. I always appreciate how focused and driven you are. Your passion for students and the use of technology to support their learning and ours as a team is always inspirational!


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