Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Messy stories are ok

Funny how something major can happen in a day and no one really notices.

The rain keeps falling.  The emails flood in as usual.

In fact it happened to me and I just noticed.  

I just noticed that a thing that has been on my heart and mind for ages, a thing I have been noodling around and around, looking at from multiple perspectives, tallying up the pro and con columns on, listening to and reading advice of experts and also trying to listen to my heart and intuition.

And quietly, over an excellent coffee, in a tiny coffee shop in a nondescript building I reclaimed my voice. 

"They" said .... you should not lead the curriculum - the power differential will make it messy.  You be the Leader of the other stuff but let a real Early Childhood Educator do this part. 

I listened.

So I stepped away from that role. 

I picked a great person to lead that part of the work.  She has done so extremely ably, forging a path in a job there are very few blazing ahead of her.  She has been breaking a path through thick vegetation with just her head and her heart and her hands and the steady shouts of "hooray!" and "courage!" from my desk, always a listening ear, always giving her permission to be her authentic self.

I sat at this desk increasingly feeling disconnected from the heart part of the work which turns out to be the reason I get up to come to work most days.

So the more technical and strategic my job became the less I loved it.  

Recently I have realised that despite all the work we have done, the years invested and the vast distance we have come, now so many more of us are singing from the same song sheet - yet I still have a profoundly deep understanding and passion for the curriculum work that is not yet equaled in the organisation.

I have invested in those leading that work and it was worthy and inspirational work. And I couldn't be prouder of my leadership team.  We are learning, growing, living into our vision and values while occasionally bumping our heads and stubbing our toes.

But today I sipped coffee with my colleague and I stepped back on to the curriculum path with her - shoulder to shoulder.  She needs me and I need to walk with her for my own sake.

And so we hatched plans, grew a little misty eyed at times and I felt the stirring in my belly again, the gentle rekindling of the fire for the work we do.

It may be messy, there may be power issues, "they" might have a point....

But I am going to rediscover my voice and reconnect to our people and to our work and I will figure out how to do that and attend to the 50 million other things my job demands and we will write our own story about how we changed the world by honouring childhood. 

I'll write my own leadership story that is true to who WE are and who I am.  

We like messy stories in our work anyway.  


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