After our chat with Carl Harvey, I really started to think about it. Even more so after it came up in #libchat last night. But how do we get started? Here’s what I’ve been doing to be a leader at my school, let me know if you agree or not.
- Find your allies. I feel pretty lucky in that everyone at my job seems to genuinely want me here, but there’s always at least one person who thinks you’re awesome. Figure out who they are.
- Listen. Before you upset the boat, you have to know how it works.
- Start researching your plans. Every office has a devil’s advocate, and you can make them into an ally by having all of your ducks in a row. Find as much information to support your position as possible so you can answer every question thrown your way. Being extra prepared scores points
- Make changes. After accomplishing 1, 2, and 3, then you can start to speak up. Believe it or not, your new colleagues probably want to hear your ideas. That’s why they hired you, after all. Your fresh eyes can only make it a better place.
- Follow through. If you say you’re going to do something, do it. On time.
- Be nice. Say “Thank you.” And “Good Morning.”
- Use the “Pain in the Butt” Scale. I spent almost seven years in Asia teaching English. Many of my colleagues were, shall we say . . . less than dedicated to the profession. It’s the nature of the beast. Those were the people who got especially angry when they didn’t get their way. I almost always got my way. Anytime my manager asked me to do something I rated it from 1 (no problem at all) to 10 (seriously messing with life). Anything that was a 7 or less, I would just do. I was the person who always said “Yes.” Therefore, whenever I said “No” it was accepted at face value.
So those are my guidelines. I’m sure I’ll look back in a year or ten years and laugh at my naivety, but you never know. They’ve worked so far.
PS #libchat happens every Wednesday at 8pm EST.
Emily Thompson is the host of EdReach’s show LiTTech, a show for the innovative librarian. LiTTech highlights the innovative news, gadgets, and resources for the literary educator. You can follow her on Twitter @librarianofdoom