So, Millennials...what do you think of when you hear about Millennials? I’ve had MULTIPLE offers in my inbox from organizations offering to teach me how to “manage millennials.” The principal of my school is a millennial and he and I often joke about him “being a millennial.” By the way, he is great and I love his “millenialness.”
Personally, I think the millennials have it right on many fronts. In this post I’d like to focus on one of their values; millennials value work-life balance and family time more than they value a paycheck. I started teaching at 20 years old and I taught alongside people who had been in the same position, in the same classroom, teaching the same lessons for 30 years. I am all for longevity if you love what you are doing but sometimes what I heard didn’t support that philosophy. I have heard people say “I am just doing my time…..I have just 3 years left…..Just trying to get to 30 years so I can get my full pension.” A millennial would say “I’m not feeling this position, it just isn’t what I thought it would be, I am going to look for another….I just want more time to be with my family…..I don’t care how much more they pay me it isn’t worth the time spent or the stress.”. The way millennials see it is so much healthier than people from other generations.
I met my husband when I was a principal in an affluent district. The superintendent in the district told me that he thought I was his heir-apparent. Unfortunately, I couldn’t have both of those dreams come true. My husband had a thriving business that he developed over 20 years in Rochester, NY nearly 5 hours from where I lived. We realized that he couldn’t start over in a new place but as an educator, I could. My life’s mission quickly changed from wanting a hefty paycheck to spending my life with an amazing partner and embracing all of the unknowns that would come from that decision. When I made that decision not everyone supported my decision or even saw my perspective. I remember saying to one naysayer, “At the end of the day when you put your head on your pillow it is not where you are but who you are lying next to.” This was when I stopped chasing the money and began chasing my mission. I have never been happier.
Since relocating to Rochester so many more dreams have come true including becoming the mother of two amazing children and starting Renaissance Academy Charter School of the Arts. My mission as an educator has also changed over time. Initially, I wanted to become a school leader to impact the lives of the children by creating a culture of learning. Although that is still important to me my mission has evolved a bit. Now my mission is to help build the leadership skills of others in my organization so that while I am the leader and in the future, the organization continues to be one that enriches the lives of the students we serve.
What impact does mission have on leadership? The impact is significant and mission misalignment can lead to burn-out, apathy, and general unhappiness. Great leaders know the importance of mission alignment. These leaders determine what drives and motivates them and how they want to spend their energy. They don’t waste time on projects that they don’t believe in and go “all in” on projects that they do. Great leaders align their mission to the leadership positions they hold and to the organizations in which they work.
Stop Chasing the Money and Start Chasing Your Mission, I promise you will be happier for it.
My mission wrapped into one: first day of school at Renaissance Academy Charter School of the Arts with my amazing children on August 2019
To learn how to align your mission with your work and other lessons on leadership get your FREE copy of my book HERE.