Depending on where you sit in this car, or which direction you decide to focus your attention, you potentially can have a very different perspective of the journey compared to the other people riding in the same car.
As I prepare to take on a new leadership role for the Lower School, I have been thinking a lot about how I can best navigate this new journey, and this picture reminded me how important it is to value the multiple perspectives that exist in our School community.
The driver of the car often has to spend a large amount of time focused on the road ahead with occasional glances to the left, right, and rear view mirrors. Sometimes the actual enjoyment of the ride can be lost on the driver because they get too busy concentrating on the destination and making sure to avoid any obstacles that may enter the road along the journey.
I think it is important as a leader to have a clear vision and to focus a lot of attention of accomplishing established goals, but it is equally important to respect and appreciate the past, and to slow down and take some rest stops to enjoy the present. In order to do this successfully, a leader can’t be alone in the car. They need multiple passengers who have the ability to provide different perspectives depending on when they get in the car and which seat they sit in.
All views are necessary in order to ensure a safe, efficient, successful, and enjoyable ride. We must have people looking into the future with a clear vision of what lies ahead; they set goals, plan strategically, anticipate challenges, and provide support and momentum to move forward. We need people looking left and right to remind us of all the amazing (and not so amazing) things happening all around us; they challenge us to stop and evaluate how things are going, remind us to celebrate what is going well, and they cause us to question whether we need to change directions. We also need people who remind us to look back in order to reflect on past successes and areas of difficulty that we can learn from. And we can’t forget about the people not even in the car and the perspective they provide looking from the outside.
Which seat do you sit in and how can your perspective help the Lower School on our journey?