Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Authentic Leaders Are Open-Minded

"Keep in mind that viewpoints are only viewpoints and that on an absolute level the whole world, including ourselves, is not what it appears to be." Ayya Kema, Be an Island: The Buddhist Practice of Inner Peace

Sometimes one of the hardest things for me to accept as a school leader is recognizing that no matter what I think, no matter what my opinion is on an issue, that viewpoint is simply "my viewpoint." It isn't the law. It isn't "research-based." It isn't the gospel. It is simply my belief. It simply isn't exactly what it appears to be; it is how the captial "I" or "me" views the situation. I have no monopoly on truth. This means that when I express my views as a leader, I must also humbly acknowledge when what I am saying is simply "my views."

In American culture there are no shortages of people who believe that they themselves are imparted with the "truth." Sometimes I find myself lapsing into that frame of mind. But, if I am going to be an authentic educational leader, I must always be mindful that how I see things isn't necessarily how things are. I must humbly accept that I perhaps do not know as much as I thought. The reason our culture is so polarized is because everyone is too busy protecting "their truth" and not listening to each other. Being open to other viewpoints is not a negative. It is a step to being an authentic leader.

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