This wasn’t the message I had planned for this week, but it is one I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about. Did I mention I’ve spent A LOT of time thinking about this?
A dear friend and fellow school administrator shared this phrase with me, one he was introduced to while in counseling. (editorial comment – why counseling? because being a leader in public education is freaking hard work and sometimes we need others to help process what we deal with)
Standing in your truth. Being true to what you believe. Being the ethical honest one when others around you may not be. Standing for honesty. Need I go on?
We’ve all been there, unfortunately.
It’s the times when we see others in our organizations behaving unprofessionally, unethically, unfairly. Sometimes we call it out. Other times, out of fear and a number of other emotions, we stand by silently.
I know its hard to call out unethical behavior. Really, I DO! Equally hard is to stand by the comment that “be ready to lose your job to stand for what’s right” because when you lose that job and try to redeem yourself for doing the right, ethical thing, it can be really darn hard.
I’ll be honest – if you have a family to support and a mortgage to pay, its often hard to do the right thing. So how do we provide environments in our public schools where our staff can report misappropriate behavior in a safe and confidential way? Is there such a thing?
I really need to say this and I really need you to hear it: while I profess the importance of standing in your truth, I deeply validate and acknowledge your concerns and thoughts that it may not be safe. And I understand if you can’t stand for what you believe. But what I implore you to do is this: look at your role in your organization, look at the feelings you have when you can’t stand up for what you know is right, and COMMIT to do it differently when you’ve had the chance to ascend into the organization, or in any other organization. Internalize the feelings and use them to propel you into a new frame of mind when you are in the leadership role to do it differently.
It’s okay. Give yourself permission. I know what feels like to stay up at night and wrestle with “doing right.” Speaking of doing right…..
To me, standing in your truth means doing the right thing, even when its hard. One of my lifelong mentors used to remind me, “I didn’t hire you to be right, I hired you to do right.”
Want to learn more about standing in your truth? THIS ARTICLE from the Huffington Post is a great read if you are seeking a little more support for standing in or “stepping into” your truth. What I like about this article is the section about defining your truth. As I’ve aged (yes, post 50 is fabulous), my truth has become more poignant. I guess there’s something to be said for aging….
Suzy Orman may represent financials and money for most, but she has a great message here about standing in your truth. Just be who you really you are. Your life will change. It really is THAT simple (and she will tell you that in less than two minutes!)
I love to take images that I find online and turn them into note cards. I take a blank powerpoint slide and put four images on a page so they are easy to size and cut down into note cards that fit into small envelopes. I then carry them around in my briefcase so I can write a note any time I see something I want to acknowledge at work, or even when I want someone to know they are appreciated.
Print in color on cardstock….practically free! Here are a couple to consider….and to give frequently. Acknowledging others and being the positive force is a great way to support others who need to stand in their truth.
Hey…..I’ll see you next week!