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Be the leader you were meant to be. 

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Fear is a Liar

Dr. Donna Marie Cozine author of "So You Want To Be a Superintendent?"

As some of you know I recently published my first book "So, You Want to be a Superintendent? Become the Leader You Were Meant to Be!" Writing a book that can help others reach their ultimate goal of becoming a Superintendent has been a goal for me for some time. So many people helped me on my journey that I wanted to create a resource that can help other leaders too!

Did you ever wonder why some people meet their goals and others do not? I contend that a big obstacle is fear. People are so afraid of failing, or worse, are afraid of what others will say and do that they either don't try or they self-sabotage. When I wrote this book I needed to look my fear in the eye and say "I have something to say and someone needs to hear it." When I finished my book and shared it with my book launch team I panicked. I had imposter syndrome! I thought, "Who am I to have written this?" Fear of what others thought of me was beginning to seep in again. I recognized this as fear and stamped it down because fear is a liar. Fear makes you think that you are not good enough, smart enough, any "anything enough." If you don't step up to fear and say "You're a liar!" you will not meet your goal.

As a leader, you must learn ways to embrace challenges and look at your fear and say "You are a liar." Check out this excerpt from my book where I speak about fear and overcoming it.

"I know the emotions you are experiencing right now – excitement, fear, uncertainty, enthusiasm. What a combination! Beware, fear and uncertainty are dream killers. They can get into your head and fill you with self-doubt, and self-doubt can cement you to your current situation and stop you from reaching your goal. At this point in your career, you are likely wondering if you should make the move to the position of superintendent. You may worry that you are not really as good as you think you are, or maybe you doubt your ability to run a larger organization. All of these feelings are completely normal, but if they are not squashed, they will become dream killers. Stay motivated, and don’t let that happen.

When I started teaching, I feared that I would be unable to answer questions students asked, and when I started as a building leader, the same question reared its ugly head, this time in regard to the adults. What if they were smarter than me, better than me, or didn’t respect me?

But, did you know that there is an antidote to fear? It is acceptance – accepting that you are human and there may be people who are smarter, better, or even more talented than you. However, they were not chosen to be in your position. You possess leadership potential and other qualities that other people do not; you were, and are the chosen one.

When I was hired as an assistant principal (AP), I was the first one in the school. Prior to the creation of the assistant position, the beloved school principal did it all. He had been principal for over thirty years and was lauded by everyone. He was a kind and gentle soul who planned on retiring, and the incoming principal hired me to be his second-in-command. The outgoing principal invited me to the end of the year party, where I had an opportunity to meet some of the staff. Never one to miss an opportunity, I went.

I remember one of the school counselors, I’ll call him Jack, came up to me and said, “You’re the new assistant principal? You’re young enough to be my daughter!” Jack was right; I was.

I laughed and said, “What’s your name again? Let me write that down – I think I’ll need to keep a close eye on you.” We both laughed, but in jest, there is truth and Jack had insinuated that I was not qualified for the position. I reminded myself that I didn’t get that position in spite of my qualifications; I was appointed because of my qualifications. When I started as the assistant principal, Jack and I worked together very closely. It was through authentic conversations and sharing the same mission that we were able to foster a relationship that focused on what was best for children. In the end, because Jack and I spent time to get to know each other, he could see that I actually had the skills needed for the position. We were able to help so many students in the three years that I was there."

If you want to read more of my book and receive your free copy please click HERE.

In Love and Friendship,


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