Lessons in Leadership from Parasailing
Recently we were on vacation and my son and I went parasailing. As I reflected upon my experience I realized it was very similar to the experience as a leader.
Stage 1: Going out to the boat. You are excited about the new experience and wondering what it is going to be like. This reminded me of what walking into the school or your office in the morning should feel like. Excited about and looking forward to your day.
Stage 2: Suiting up to go in the air. You get hooked into the equipment to ensure you are safe. Grabbing your coffee/tea, checking your emails, reviewing your day's plan is essentially the same thing.
Stage 3: You start going up in the air. You think, "what did I get myself into?" Is this really safe? This is similar to our first crisis of the school day. You are thinking, "How am I going to handle this?"
Stage 4: You are flying effortlessly in the air and you feel the safety equipment holding you tightly and securely. You realize that you have the skills necessary to deal with the crisis, you handle it like a BOSS.
Stage 5: You are now 500 feet in the air and you feel really calm and comfortable. The day is continuing on. This was much easier than you ever dreamed it would be. This is similar to being able to get your tasks done with ease. You visit classrooms, provide feedback to the teachers, observe, spend time with kids, and feel accomplished.
Stage 6: The driver drops you down to dip your feet in the water and then you drift up in the air again. Similar to minor issues, no problem, you got this! Once you handle it, it is back to feeling accomplished.
Stage 7: You land on the boat and feel exhilarated. You can't wait to do it again. You pack up your stuff for the day, head to your car, and think this was a good day. You look forward to coming back tomorrow to do it all over again.
In love, leadership, and friendship,
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