Image credit: Centre for Career Development
I did not choose to be bold…
When I took my first steps into the interim options I decided to pursue since September, my experiences have embodied ‘being bold for change’, even though I did not realise it at the time.
Constantly vacillating between my comfort and stretch zones have kept me on my toes. I take nothing for granted and am constantly alert for opportunities which could help me develop even more as an educator/leader.
So, which steps have I undertaken to simultaneously push my boundaries and become that little bit braver?
I do / try something each day which takes me out of my comfort zone. If it makes me think “I would much rather not”, then I just do it! This has included becoming a freelance Science consultant, contacting head teachers to offer my services, taking up unfamiliar opportunities e.g. accepting an educational resource judge invitation and sharing my strengths as an educator without cringing.
Impact of being bold:
1. Accepting who I am and what I have to offer. For many reasons, I did not really value what I am – a BAME female Science educator. Since ‘stepping off the formal leadership grid’, I was free to pursue my additional love of Education Technology alongside Science. I now own the fact that I am BAME STEM leader with much to offer.
2. Becoming more comfortable in my leadership skin. It may sound clichéd, however when you continuously operate in your stretch zone the protective cocoon (i.e. skin) of your comfort zone falls by the wayside.
3. Diminished fear of being rebuffed when I ask for something more than I usually would (Go for No and Grit to Great shifted my mind-set in this regard).
4. Being unafraid, as leader, of showing my vulnerability within the right context.
5. Negotiating my salary for consultancy / school based roles (Even now part of me thinks “I did what???”).
6. Joy in riding the waves of uncertainty. Before, I was (and occasionally lapse into!) the type of person where everything needs to be planned out to the nth degree to avoid any nasty surprises. However life is unpredictable and I learn so much from serendipitous moments.
7. How empowered I now feel. As a result, I’m more able to clearly articulate my core values.
8. Becoming the person that my tribe knew I had to potential to be. Along my journey, I have been coached, mentored, gently nudged and given hard shoves into my next steps of boldness whenever I felt hesitant. I would therefore encourage anyone taking their initial 'bold' steps, to find the appropriate support mechanisms that work best for you and enjoy the experiences along the way.
So, during 2017, I urge you to #BeBoldForChange.