What is Your Leadership Wake?

Tanya Valentin ECE

Happy 2020 everyone!

I hope that you all managed to have some time to rest, recharge and rejuvenate over the Christmas and New Year break.

This week was my first week back at work and I must confess that it has been a bit of a challenge switching gears back into work mode. I have spent most of this week dreaming about and planning what I would like to achieve this year and in fact this decade.

The beginning of a new decade is really exciting because it challenges us to think so much bigger. What we can achieve personally and professionally in a year is limited. However, what we can achieve in a decade is limitless.

During this process, I have been guided by two questions.

I would like to share these with you in this blog.

What is my leadership wake?

As a boat moves, it leaves waves and ripples behind it – a wake. As leaders, we are constantly moving – leading – and we too leave a wake behind whether we do this intentionally or not. Sometimes what we hope we are leaving behind us in our wake is very different from the actuality.

Tanya Valentin ECE - Leadership Wake

I have spent time reflecting on what I want to leave behind as my legacy, the impact that I would like to make, my purpose – what I would like to be known for.

I would like to be known for respect, kindness, for giving a voice to the emotional and mental health needs of children, teachers and leaders in early childhood education. For uplifting our sector, for serving and helping others.

Have you given consideration as what you want to be known for as a teacher, as a leader?

What you would like your early childhood setting to be known for?

Last year “intentional teaching” was a bit of a “buzz” word in ECE, but have we thought of ourselves in terms of intentional leaders?

I challenge you to reflect on the wake that you would like to leave behind.

My second guiding question is:

How am I going to look after myself so that I can achieve my legacy?

I have found through experience that how well I take care of myself (how connected I feel with myself and my purpose) the more intentional I can be about my wake.

Last year was a great year for me. I achieved many personal and professional goals. However, as aspirational as my intentions were to take excellent care of myself… I ended up crashing and burning towards the end of the year. I found myself experiencing the symptoms of burn-out.

Now I could spend time chastising myself about this and making myself feel worse.

But, I have instead decided to learn from this and commit to doing better this year at prioritising my health and physical wellbeing.

Tanya Valentin ECE - wellbeing

This is still new learning for me and so I know that I will sometimes fail, make mistakes or fall back into bad patterns of behaviour. I have been chatting about this live in my Facebook Group – Making Yourself a Priority so that I can support others as well as keeping myself accountable.

Some of the steps that I have put into place are:

  • To commit to keeping my word to myself
  • To create a better work-life balance by committing to boundaries around personal and professional time.
  • No social media in the weekends
  • A morning ritual focussed on gratitude
  • Healthy eating – keeping a food diary
  • Regular exercise
  • Doing one thing that is solely for the purpose of bringing me joy each week.
  • Planned admin days – especially after travelling to facilitate workshops
  • Planned time off through-out the year.

Over to you…

What will you do to love yourself better this year? I have included a free downloadable resource to help you to reflect on these two questions for yourself. This available in my Freebies Library, click here to access this.

If making time for yourself is on your to-do list, then I would like personally to invite you to join Making Yourself a Priority.

It is an uplifting, supportive group, where I share readings, tips and live video training on how to put yourself back on the priority list. Click here to join.


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