Hold to Purpose
Knowing and articulating what your group stands for (values) and what you want to collectively achieve (outcomes) is your purpose. Staying disciplined to your core purpose is paramount to making progress on your issue or challenge. Distractions abound in the day-to-day fray of things. Sometimes it can feel like a shiny new issue shows up every week. Don’t let it take you and your group off track. Stay disciplined to your purpose and let any emerging trends or issues inform your strategies and tactics, not your purpose. Holding on to your purpose is not just about the big picture, it is in the details of your daily activities (for example, meeting purpose, committee purpose, discussion purpose). Be purposeful at all levels.
Questions to Ask Yourself
- How are you keeping your purpose front and center? Where is your group’s purpose articulated, noted, posted, promoted?
- How often does your group remind each other of your purpose?
- Do you have a ritual at each meeting to keep your purpose alive in people’s heads and hearts?
- How are you holding to purpose in your day-to-day activities?
The above adaptive leadership framework conceptualizes the leader not as one who solves problems for people but rather as one who encourages others to join in problem solving cooperatively by sharing leadership, responsibility, and power. Leaders practicing adaptive leadership focus on how to help people adjust to changing problems and conditions. In these situations, adaptive leaders enable others to help solve problems by providing a safe space to process and adapt to changes in the system. The capacity to create an environment that embraces the diversity of views and takes advantage of such collective knowledge to benefit the system is the very nature of exercising adaptive leadership. In this process, leaders need to be aware of the context of the larger early childhood system to facilitate this. This means being able to see the big picture so that you can help yourself, partners, and the community to diagnose the situation so you solve the right problem, manage self in the change process, energize others so they are motivated to work on a common challenge, and intervene skillfully so that progress is made on this situation.