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The Sad Life of the Overloaded School Leader

Posted by Scott Barron on Apr 9, 2014 8:52:32 PM
Scott Barron

Have you spent any time with a school administrator lately? Stressful isn't it? Too often he or she hurries from place to place, talking to lots of people but connecting with few. Living in a constant state of overload and chaos, the goal is more survival than vision.

What's the impact of overload?

Donkey Overload

Overload leaves the school leader with no margin in the day, with the mind and body having zero time to process and recharge.

Overload disconnects him from those he wants to serve. When scrambling from appointment to crisis and so one, there's no time to be genuinely interested in people. The crazy schedule has displaced his original purpose.

Overload steals his joy because there's no time to appreciate the true value of people and experiences.

Overload becomes an excuse not to take proper personal care, with little time to eat a healthy diet and insufficient downtime for restoration.

Overload is an addictive habit that limits his ability to listen to teachers and students. Conversations are interrupted by passersby, and even when in a meeting a glazed stare is most common because his mind is elsewhere.

Overload is exhausting, producing physical consequences that can effect quality of life. The human body isn't wired to constantly run on the "red line."

Overload isn't a career trophy, it's just the result of weak time managment skills and pride that disables the ability to delegate.

Overload may have become his identity, where he's bought into busy-ness as the demonstration of his commitment to overachievement.

Overload keeps him from pursuing his dreams because he's got no time for that purpose "junk."

Lack of Focus Leads to Unhappiness

A major study on mental health found that people tend to spend nearly 50% of their time thinking about something else other than what they are currently doing. The problem is that this habit of daydreaming leads to an unsatisfied feeling. "A human mind is a wandering mind and a wandering mind is an unhappy mind. The ability to think about what is not happening is a cognitive achievement that comes at an emotional cost." (Science Magazine,"A Wandering Mind Is an Unhappy Mind", 11/12/10)

Invest in strategies and learning opportunities that will give you and your school leadership team the advantage of focus and results, while also developing the habits that lead to effective use of time and relationships. Avoid the dangers of overload! Innovative leaders understand that school improvement isn't about finding more things to do--the key is finding the right things to do.

Topics: Administration, Personal Reinvention

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