Leadership magazine May/June 2015 V 44 No 5 - Page 34

things every day that embody the best of the human spirit. Verbal compliments, written notes, emails, phone calls, Twitter updates or formal recognition ceremonies should be part of every day for a school leader. These interactions cultivate positive relationships, encourage others to strive for success, and also draw attention to the values of the organization. 7. Maintain flexibility. The effective leader is adaptive on a daily basis. The wise leader knows which meetings can be postponed to provide space to address an urgent issue. One of the wonderful aspects of the work of a school leader is the fact that no two days are the same. The dynamism of the collective work of individuals and the fact that many of us are embedded in schools or districts with hundreds or thousands of children requires us to be responsive to whatever may arise, moment by moment, hour by hour, and day by day. What makes a difference? Being engaged with the learning process, managing effective 34 Leadership communications, taking care of the self, encouraging and recognizing others, and adapting to exigent needs are the essential daily actions of an effective school leader. While it may sound simple, the mechanics and balancing required to actualize these daily activities are actually quite complex. Moreover, it requires great discipline and consistency to turn these activities into daily actions that become habits. Ultimately, that discipline is often the differential between ordinary and extraordinary leadership. Our aspiration, for ourselves and for others, is to strive for the extraordinary. What we choose to do, each and every day, hour by hour, and moment by moment, is what makes the difference. n Devin Vodicka is superintendent in the Vista Unified School District and ACSA’s 2015 Superintendent of the Year. Lisa Gonzales is superintendent in the Portola Valley School District and ACSA’s Vice President for Legislative Action. Both are members of ACSA’s Technology Leadership Group and the Technology Information Center for Administrative Leadership (TICAL).