Authenticity with Strategy

As others have discussed before me, the ISANNELEADS group has had the opportunity to learn about, reflect on, and discuss with others the innate qualities that make us who we are. MBTI and FIRO-B vocabulary and acronyms have been flying through the air. And this is a wonderful thing. We should acknowledge who we are and be our authentic selves. Our students, in particular, can smell a fraud a mile away.
 
Still, I don't think that just knowing who we are and following our initial tendencies is always in everyone's best interest. Enter Betsy Myers. Today Betsy talked with us about "authenticity with strategy." Know who you are. Honor who you are. And use it strategically in the best interest of your team and your school. Maybe this means that we communicate in a different way to help smooth the process of working with a new person. Maybe it means that instead of a passionate response that may be seen as flying off the handle, we learn to show composure during tough moments.
 
Betsy was asked a challenging question: is it better to cultivate and play to your strengths or to work to improve your weaknesses? She believes that while it is always worth while to work on things that might be holding us back, the greatest good is to play to our strengths. This echoes another discussion from earlier in the week. One way we can be strategically authentic is to surround ourselves with colleagues who can fill in the gaps in our own skill set with complementary qualities. We should appreciate the people around our tables who are different from us and can represent a piece of the puzzle that we don't have. We work in schools. No one is an island.
 
-Erin