June 27, 2022

Are You Stuck? (Challenge #21)

Are You Stuck? (Challenge #21)

Today’s challenge is a hypothetical scenario, one that I’m sure hasn't happened to anybody listening to this episode.

But it will teach you the one skill that is necessary to making powerful leadership decisions that move you and your school or library closer to your full potential.

Mastering Challenging Conversations

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Go to kindleadershipchallenge.com/conversations and enter your email to start having the conversations that will impact your community for the better.

This episode was produced by Podcast Boutique .


Today’s challenge is a hypothetical scenario, that I’m sure has happened to nobody listening to this episode. But it’ll teach you the one skill that is necessary to making powerful leadership decisions that move you and your school or library closer to your full potential. 

Let’s say you’re a school or library leader. Let’s say further that the last two and a half years have been more or less non-stop misery. A Pandemic, Social upheaval, community members and pundits second guessing how you do your jobs. A team who is understaffed, burnt out, and demoralized. Constant bickering and drama. Constant fights with patrons or students. Budget Cuts, Inflation, Politicians looking to score points by cutting your resources or rewriting your policies. And of course, the occasional mass shooting in the news just for spice.
 Every day you feel closer to throwing in the towel, and you know you can’t go on like this forever. But every time you ponder a career change, you’re overwhelmed and confused about what your next steps would be, or if you even want to take them. 

In Short, you’re stuck, and you need to make a decision to move forward, whether your road leads to a new perspective or a new career.

Well, today I’ll teach you the first step to get unstuck.


Welcome to the Kind Leadership Challenge, where I empower educational and library leaders like you to detox your organizations! I’m Sarah Clark, founder of the Kind Leadership Guild. My PhD in higher ed Leadership, my experience coaching, consulting, and presenting to library leaders all over the world, and a career working in academic libraries from the front desk to the Dean’s office taught me that leaders don't have to be perfect to build a better world. And now I want to share those same lessons with you.  

Here's the deal. You give me the next few minutes of your day. In return, I'll share short stories and simple challenges designed to heal yourself and your school or library, so you can get back to making the impact you wish to see in your communities. By embarking on each week’s challenge on your own or with the community of over 1000 kind leaders in our private facebook group, you and your team will begin growing humanely, managing effectively, and partnering collaboratively, and your school or library will build a more informed and educated world along the way.

How do you successfully navigate challenging conversations so that you can heal your team culture and acquire the resources you need to thrive? 

Mastering Challenging Conversations is a free set of checklists where I show your how to apply the three core principles of kind leadership to planning, conducting, and moving forward from a challenging leadership conversation. Just go to Kindleadershipchallenge.com/conversations, enter your email and start having the conversations that will make you and your organization burnout proof, heal your team's culture, connect your organization to the resources you need to thrive, and impact your community for the better.

Again, just head on over to kindleadershipchallenge.com/conversations to learn more and get your free guide. 


So, Back to the question of our totally hypothetical leader dealing with a totally hypothetical case of massive overwhelm and burnout after the last two years. How can they make such a complex and emotional decision about whether or not to leave their job? Well, the first step is to CLEARLY define your problem. After all, in order to make a kind leadership decision, you need as clear an understanding of the challenge as possible. During my PhD, I learned an excellent 3 part format to define a research problem. Yes, it was designed to help scholars refine the central issue they would explore in a research project, but with a few minor tweaks and simplifications, I realized it could bring enough clarity to start digging into any challenge. 

Here’s the Problem Statement format: 

  • I/We need (A desired goal) because (the reason we need it) 
  • However, (obstacle that is—or seems to be—standing between us and our goal) 
  • I/we tentatively believe that if we decide to (take a certain action), we can overcome or avoid this obstacle. 

And because this is hard to understand without an example, here’s what our hypothetical burnt-out leader might come up with:

  • I need to escape my current leadership situation, because I am burning out and breaking down.
  • However, I don’t know what else I would want to do, or even if there’s something in my control that could improve my current situation back to something where I could thrive personally and professionally.
  • I tentatively believe that if I identify what my stressors are and explore what is in my control to manage them more effectively, I could both determine whether or not this job is salvageable, AND if it’s not salvageable, better understand how I can avoid falling into a similar situation in my next job.

We’ll create, refine, and share this problem through this week. I’ll go into a deeper dive of each piece of the problem statement in the daily email, and we’ll get collaborative in the facebook group. You can share your own leadership problem if you’d like too—just go to kindleadershipchallenge.com/community.

 Thanks for listening and for taking action to become a kinder leader. If you found this week’s episode insightful, give the show a rating or review—or even better, share it with your fellow leaders!  Never doubt that day by day, you’re building a better world, even if you can't see it yet. So until next time, stay kind now.     

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