My Leadership Playlist – a work in progress…

My passion for music comes very close to my passion for education and leadership.  I love to sing when given the chance, and will be the first one on the dance floor to have a good boogie.  My commute to and from work is accompanied by music – the playlist varies according to my mood.  When I was at secondary school music and performing arts was my thing way ahead of any sporting interests or ability.  I performed at a high level with our choir and barbershop quartet, and played leading roles in our school productions of ‘Oklahoma’ and ‘My Fair Lady’.  I just could never quite engage with the theoretical knowledge that needed to go alongside the performance if I wanted to pursue my interests further at university.  And so I followed my interest in Physical Education, despite feeling a bit of a fraud when it came to my sporting prowess.  (Please don’t take issue with me referring to Physical Education and sport the way I have done in that sentence; as an 18 year old, that was the way I saw it.  Thankfully throughout my tertiary education and teacher training I became aware that Physical Education is about way more than sport – ‘learning in, through, and about movement’.)

Anyway, I digress… the point is, on Saturday afternoon when I read this blog post by David Rogers, shared by Steve Mouldey, it presented me with my perfect challenge – create my leadership playlist.  And so I have begun.  For now I have two to share with you but I look forward to growing my playlist.

The Madden Brothers – We are done

We are done with being a silent many

Every voice rings out and carries

No we won’t just go back

Home without you hearing

The sound when the many say

We are done

As a Health and Physical Educator I love the messages that this song delivers that align with our learning area, and indeed with our New Zealand Curriculum – cultural diversity, inclusion, equity, integrity, respect.  These principles and values are at the foundation of my leadership philosophy.  This song reminds me that I must at all times be an advocate for equality, and encourage people to take a stand for what they believe in.  And that I myself must always take a stand for what I believe in.  It also reminds me that I must allow everyone to have a voice; that no one should feel silenced.  This applies to my leadership with my team (department), and to my interactions with my students and their whanau, and the wider school community.

Jessie J – Who You Are

Don’t lose who you are in the blur of the stars!

Seeing is deceiving, dreaming is believing,

It’s okay not to be okay…

Sometimes it’s hard to follow your heart.

Tears don’t mean you’re losing, everybody’s bruising,

Just be true to who you are!

Yeah yeah yeah
As a leader it is vital that you know who you are and what you believe in; work out what you think about things, and why you want to do the work you are doing.  Develop your leadership philosophy and then stay true to it, and to yourself.  People will challenge you and question what and why you are doing things – great! Let them! It will either serve to strengthen your purpose or open your eyes to different possibilities.  Understand that you are not going to get it right every single time, you are not going to please everyone all of the time, and that is okay, as long as you can go back to your core philosophy and you firmly know that you are doing the right thing.  And it can be bruising!  Particularly when leading change – you will come up against resistors, or people slow to gain momentum, that will leave you with battle scars or feeling a little bruised.  And if you’re anything like me there will also be tears; this is not a sign of weakness or ‘losing’ – it says ‘I am really passionate about this… this matters to me deeply’.


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