Feb. 7, 2022

How to get started with Kind Leadership (Challenge #1)


What’s the first step to becoming a Kind Leader?

Everyone likes the idea of being a Kind leader, but unfortunately they rarely see it in action. The good news is the first step I reveal in today’s challenge will automatically teach you the second step, and third step, and so on. And before you know it, you will begin to teach yourself how to heal yourself, your team, and your world.

I had to re-learn the answer to today’s question recently while planning to launch this podcast! I wanted to make it the best, most appealing, and most useful leadership podcast I could, and, well, you’ll hear what happened next.   
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Links:
Kind Leadership Decision-Making (The Course): https://kindleadershipguild.com/course

Kind Leadership Challenge (The Free Facebook Group): https://kindleadershipchallenge.com/community 

Transcript

 What’s the first step to becoming a Kind Leader?

Everyone likes the idea of being a Kind leader, but unfortunately they rarely see it in action. The good news is the first step I reveal in today’s challenge will automatically teach you the second step, and third step, and so on. And before you know it, you will begin to teach yourself how to heal yourself, your team, and your world.

I had to re-learn the answer to today’s question recently while planning to launch this podcast! I wanted to make it the best, most appealing, and most useful leadership podcast I could, and, well, you’ll hear what happened  next. 

Welcome to the Kind Leadership Challenge! Here's the deal. Educational and library leaders like you give me 5-10 minutes of your monday. In return, I'll empower you to heal yourself and your school or library. No long interviews, no celebrities, no lectures, no nonsense. Just short stories and simple challenges you can implement this week to build a better world.

I’m Sarah Clark, founder of the Kind Leadership Guild. I’ve got a PhD in Educational leadership. Plus, the highs and lows of my 17 years working in academic libraries, from the front desk to the Dean’s office taught me a secret that’s more important than ever in 2022. You don't have to be a perfect leader to build a better world. And your school or library definitely doesn't need to be perfect either. My goal is to teach you how to stop fixing and start healing yourself and your team. You'll discover the confidence, skill, and trust to let go of a little control. 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.

There is one skill you need most for these challenges, and everything else work throws at you. It's making decisions. Specifically, quickly making decisions that get you and your team to your goals. That’s why I created the first Kind Leadership Guild Course–Kind Leadership Decisionmaking! This 8 part course gives you the toolkit you need to make effective, humane, and collaborative decisions. It covers decisions big and small. When you're done, you'll be able to handle any decision you're likely to encounter at work or home. You’ll also gain access to a student community, regular group coaching calls, and more. For all the details, head to kindleadershipchallenge.com/course. Now, on to today’s challenge! 

When you’re starting anything new, you’re usually amped up and excited by the possibilities and maybe a bit nervous too. After all, You want to do a great job. But if you're not careful, you'll spend so much time planning that you never get started! A good example is this podcast, come to think of it. I've been a library and educational leader for over a decade. However, I’ve been a hobby podcaster for almost as long! That's why I almost didn't start this podcast. I know how much energy it takes to do a podcast “right”. And I'm putting it on youtube as well, which I've never really done before. For all those reasons I wanted to make sure I didn’t burn out. So I started planning and testing. A LOT. 

Planning's a good idea when taking on a new project, but it’s not quite the same thing as STARTING that new project. A new habit or great idea that never launches won't help anyone, yourself included. I know better, but I still got stuck with my old enemy. Perfectionism. I spent weeks recording drafts, fiddling with green screens, and making this way too hard. And you know what I wasn’t doing during that time? Teaching you how to heal your workplaces with the power of kind leadership. 

I realized my mistake getting started with my own kind leadership project after two hours fiddling with camera settings. I suddenly remembered a favorite saying from one of my dissertation advisors. "Finished is Better than Fabulous." I’m sure you’ve heard versions that sentiment many times. For some reason it stuck with me back in grad school and as a first-time dean. It’s been my motto as I’ve built the Kind Leadership Guild from a small facebook group to workshops, courses—and now this podcast. I realized that saying was the key to getting started with this podcast—AND getting started with anything to do with kind leadership. The first step of kind leadership is to embracing your humanity and imperfections, and putting something out there to see what happens in order to get feedback and improve. You can’t get to fabulous until you finish something and put it out there. 

Let me demonstrate the first step of kind leadership by sharing what I did next. I asked myself, What would this podcast look like if it were finished rather than fabulous—at least at first? I don’t have A-list guests or fancy marketing or hours a week to edit something that’ll win awards. But I CAN put out weekly bite-sized episodes you can take action on immediately. And those actions in turn could make a kinder impact and build a better world. So I ditched the green screen and fancy editing. I'm recording our first episodes right here, in the small bedroom of our small apartment in Philadelphia. I did move the laundry hamper though. And as a result of deciding to finish this podcast rather than shooting for fabulous right out of the gate, you’re listening to episode 1 of the Kind Leadership Challenge right now, and hopefully learning something from it. And if I’m really lucky, you’ll share a comment or some feedback about what you liked and how I can improve. That process is how you can take the first step towards kind leadership too. The more you get comfortable with taking action, even when something’s not perfect, the more you’ll believe in your ability to grow and improve as a kind leader with every step you take. 

So my challenge for you today is this. Take the first step toward kind leadership by embracing the Finished is Better than Fabulous philosophy. Pull out your to do list. Find that nagging, painful task that you keep avoiding because you’re afraid you can’t do it well “enough”. And…do it! Go ahead and put something out there as a fest or to get feedback. Even though it'll probably be imperfect, you can use what you learn to grow. And with that, I’m taking my own advice as I wrap up episode 1 of the Kind Leadership Challenge. Hopefully by episode 100 or so it’ll be a bit more fabulous. but if you find these challenges helpful to your leadership, for now that’s finished enough. 

Oh, and if you’re wanting a little more detail on what exactly Kind leadership is? Stay tuned. That’s the next episode.

If you want to work on this challenge with other leaders, then join our free facebook group! This private community of practice with over 1200 members can help you heal yourself, your school or library, and your community in weeks, not years. All you have to do is go to the link in the show notes and sign up. Thanks for listening and for taking action to become a kinder leader. Never doubt that day by day, you’re building a better world, even if you can't see it yet. Until next time, stay kind now.

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