Years ago I visited the Arlington Cemetery in Washington D.C. Standing with a friend near the Eternal Flame, we found ourselves in awe both by the setting and the words from a JFK speech inscribed on a wall. Breaking the silence, my friend simply stated, “it feels like he took all the best words.” I simply nodded my head. She was right. As a result of my PLN growing over the last several years, I have become convinced that investing in ourselves is paramount to growing stronger as leaders. If you are not pushing yourself to learn more – either through reading, writing, posting, or lurking – then you are robbing others of all you can offer. Don’t do that. Instead, get in the game. Personal or professional learning is now available 24/7 from the comfort of your couch. Will it come in spurts? Will it ebb and flow? Might it be hard and confusing at times? Yeah, probably. The most important stuff usually is.
Merriam-Webster offers as a definition of the word “explore” the following: to become familiar with by testing or experimenting. Inherent in the definition is being an active participant. As I continue to work on my own leadership, I find myself drawn, more than ever, toward learning more about leadership in many forms. Whether it is through my reflecting on an article, blog, image, or a personal lesson learned, I commit to #explore what it means to be a leader, especially when working with both students and adults on a large urban campus. I intend to hold myself accountable through my reflections within this blog. Accepting that JFK was right and our learning is critical toward our leadership, how can you commit to be active now?