I was a Headteacher .. I was a midday manager .. a teaching assistant and a very committed teacher . I also stacked shelves at Wilkos.. and worked in banking.. and in the deep dark past I worked in a greengrocer’s and florist’s . I’m now Boundless- I’m a consultant , a coach and an education supervisor , as well as a Lead mentor, PSHE lead, Visiting Fellow, Chair of Governors.
So many things I have done and continue to do. It’s funny how we place so much importance on what we do when we meet people who want to know who we are.
Sometimes I catch myself relying on using the badge of former headteacher to add credibility to the Who I am!
When did what we do encompass the who we are? In reality it can be difficult to unpeel the layers and work out who we are without the badge of office. Certainly when I left headship I felt lost at sea, uncertain of who I was without the figurehead, a vessel without a name.
We somehow lose sight of who we are in the midst of what we do. Those of us who hold the value of Service to others, kindness, love, empathy or compassion to make a positive difference to the lives of others can often lead us to be so driven to do so that we can end up depleting our own reserves, or somehow tell ourselves that we matter less, and we plough on at the expense of our own needs.
This is sometimes fuelled by a deep-seated voice linked to our own Saboteurs or inner judges. We want to be better, or good enough, or feel things need to be perfect , up to someone else’s standard. So our what we do takes over, and who we are becomes the job title.
We can be at risk of forgetting to nourish and recognise the who we are that took us there in the first place.
When we leave the job title, does that make us lesser?
When I left headship it was surprising how some people’s doors were harder to open without the badge. Visiting schools in other roles was , and is, not always easy. I sometimes felt/ feel invisible, or pressure to justify, contributing to the feeling of lesser. Yet I was the same person, with the same skills, and knowledge- or was I?
In fact I have grown. I’ve learnt so much more, particularly with the value of a wider perspective, broader horizons. I am more than ever, showing up in all the colours of my values, my learning and insights. I actually bring more.
Leading with Love, Learning and playful curiosity to inspire purpose I take time to really consider who I am, what this means in terms of my authenticity and living with integrity, so I can show up with clarity, creative and versatile strategies and support to meet the needs of those I work with, coupled with an understanding of the complexities of their environment.
Having a clear sense of who I am fuels all of what I do, it’s my superpower .
Prioritising self awareness is not selfish, it’s vital so we don’t just show up as the badge we wear, we bring values- led and intentional presence. Taking regular time for this is as crucial as the time we spend serving others.
With a clear sense of self, the decisions we make become wiser, more deliberate and robust. We raise our heads and start scanning the horizon.
I’m also a Mum, a wife, daughter, auntie and a friend. I’m a swimmer, a dancer and a lover of yoga and Lego. All I am underpins all I do as a leadership, learning and well- being consultant, coach and education supervisor but also how I live and show up, as well as when I am being and not just doing.
Recognising when to pause or not to do and focus on more being is crucial to us all.
When we become focused on more being and less doing we lead lives of deeper purpose . In the consideration of what this means for our vision and values, we can refine the doing to serve our purpose, our intent and keep clear sense of direction. We start to ask why what we’re doing is important and that offers up the opportunity for innovation and clear intent.
This is at the root of my work , whether that is my leadership development support using Boundless Inspiration approaches, Resilient Leaders Elements and Lego Serious Play coaching and facilitation, or my work with NPQLT and SCITT. Leading with playful curiosity, I can enable reflection to ensure every action becomes linked to overarching purpose and ensure this is meaningful and serves those I serve, as well as enabling me to lead by my values, which serves my vision to enable and empower learning beyond any perceived boundaries or horizons… I navigate beyond your known horizons while enabling you to strengthen your ship.
I can enable with love, empower purpose and create more joy. True Boundless Learning.