A lot has been said about the importance of speaking up to injustices, unfairness, unethical behavior, and more. In the current era of politics and the state of our nation in general, I think the "speaking up" movement has gained momentum...especially with #metoo issues. But speaking up isn't just about what goes on in the nation. When we apply the actions to our work lives, innate challenges arise. What if I speak up? Will it cost me my job? Will I be able to find another jo
Ever feel incompetent? Join the club. We all go through it. Incompetence is a perfectly normal, albeit it uncomfortable feeling. Sometimes is about not knowing a new platform at work. Other times it is blanking in the middle of a presentation when our brain takes an unexpected break. And sometimes, it is being asked to respond to an inquiry on a topic where our knowledge is at a C level and we expect at least a B is needed to not sound like an idiot. Yes, it is uncomfortable.
I've been reading and listening to a lot of Brene Brown as of late - whether the paperback Rising Strong that I've dog-eared the heck out of or my new Audible membership and learning how to bookmark those segments that just say WOW! What I love about her work is how personable she is when she speaks, and how spot on she is with her messaging. Having been a long term researcher, she is very keen on sharing what extensive studies have noted....and those parallel what we profess
Ran across this term a week or so ago. Microvulnerability. (Note - spellcheck doesn't like it...yet). When I think of leadership, I can't think of many leaders who have been brutally vulnerable about their skills, their knowledge, and their perspectives, because let's face it. Vulnerability comes with risk taking. Fear. Microvulnerability is about letting people know that you don't have it all together all the time. And that makes you shockingly human, right? Those of us who
Sometimes I blog over the weekend, and sometimes I leave it for early Monday morning (very early, like way before I need to get ready for work). And when I do too much on Sunday, that Monday morning wake-up becomes a bit more challenging.
That's what happened yesterday. I was tired and I didn't take into account what my power hours would be for a Monday, or at least that particular Monday. Have you heard of personal power hours? It's a really cool and valid concept - there
A few months ago, I learned a new phrase - being goodish. It didn't take much reflection to realize that this phrase rocks. Really. But what it really means and stands for is so much more. As a working mom, I can say that I've struggled with that balance in life - trying to be all to everyone and to myself at the same time. Possible? No. Then there's that word perfect that we've all decided to retire, unless we are talking about an Olympic gymnastic score or if we're referrin
Being vulnerable didn't come easy for me. I grew up in a world of judgment in ways that often felt harsh. Mean. Inconsiderate. In many ways it hardened me to be more sterile to those I didn't know, perhaps in a way to protect myself. It wasn't until I had a heart to heart with a true leader who embodied what I was seeking....missing. It helped me see that my desire to be safe was compromising my ability to connect with others. Its sad to say that my female role models weren't
We all face frustration. At work. In relationships. Behind the wheel. With our neighbors. Frustration is a way of life, but we don't always approach it the same way and the obstacles to overcome that are the source of our frustrations aren't always easy to discern. There have been many articles written, and research projects conducted, on the topic of frustration. Many equate frustration to anger, which doesn't need to be the case. I tend to see frustration differently. Wikpe
I've always felt the phase, "laughter is the best medicine," was kind of dumb. But having visited hospital rooms of friends, I get it. Having been a middle school teacher (yes, there is a special place in heaven for me), I know the importance of finding laughter with students and the learning that comes with it, especially when said laughter is not at the expense of someone else. When we laugh, we relax. We take things a little lighter. We're less on edge. And when we laugh,
I can remember the stress I felt as a third year principal and discovering I was pregnant....with twins, nonetheless. I was so worried that being a female leader with newborns would compromise my credibility and cost me my job. At one visit to my OB/GYN, I remember her saying, "You're pretty Type A. You need to get over that. You'll never have control again once those babies arrive in this world." And I figured, as a doctor who had been there before with other moms, she knew
for·give·ness ˌfərˈɡivnəs/ I've been thinking a lot about this word lately, although I must give a bit of credit where credit is due. Maria Shriver and her "The Sunday Paper" blog is a great thought provoker. Having spent some time at Holocaust Museums on both coasts here in the United States this spring, I had an opportunity to talk to two different survivors and both spoke on their healing process through forgiveness. Here are two individuals who had every reason in the wor
Are you a reflective leader? Reflection sometimes makes those around me laugh. Just yesterday I said to a colleague, "I was thinking about that conversation we had yesterday and had some further thoughts on what I had to say." For me, it was an opportunity to clarify a point that I had made that I didn't think I had done a good job of. I didn't want the other person to misinterpret what I had said because I realized there was another way to read my comment. Do you reflect lik
Ready for another great week? Years ago, I had a long talk with a great male mentor. We were talking about the dreaded work...intimidation. His comment to me was something like, "You need to be able to stand up for what you believe and for doing the good job others know you will do. Sometimes that work may get you into a little hot water, because you are strong and competent. Don't ever shirk who you are because you are afraid it will make others uncomfortable." He was right.
Here we go, team. It's Monday! Up and at 'em..... This week's theme is one that is uber important - know your worth. As public school leaders, I sometimes think we lose sight of our value, of our worth and what we bring to the table. Do we take the time to sit back, reflect, and practice self-care and gratitude to think about our contributions and what we did to advance the needs of students? Let's face it - we probably haven't. Similarly, as a female leader, I also struggle
Here we go, team. It's Monday! Up and at 'em..... This week's thoughts surround perspective, and it has been a common topic for many of my colleagues and I recently. How do we put ourselves in the place to best understand our staff, our teachers, our parents, our other constituents. Understanding the perspective of others really is a key leadership skill. Perspective is how we see the world and how we process what we encounter. For the most part, our past experiences impact h
Check out my latest blog post for the Biofreeze Berkeley Half Marathon - it's all about pacing and helping others with their goals! #assistantsuperintendent #dublinunified #asca #PortolaValley #LisaGonzalesSuperintendent #leadershipdevelopment #leadership #good #lisa #ACSA #knowledge #competent #positive #acsapresident
Here it is - another Monday is upon us. What are your goals for this week? This week's theme is "gratitude." And was I fortunate when it comes to my commitment to practicing gratitude. I grew up as part of the Youth Focus program out at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds and learned early on the role of gratitude. As a leader in that program, we were always reminded to "write and practice gratitude." After every event, I wrote thank you notes. Every time I was handed the micr
Happy Monday! Quite a few years ago, I ran across Liz Wiseman's book, The Multiplier Effect. WOW! As a second year superintendent, I was convinced that this book was an essential read for my leadership team. Each week, we'd focus in on a chapter and identify a key individual who we would hone in on to support and encourage. We'd articulate our objectives and hold one another accountable. Want to lead like a multiplier? When I arrived in Dublin as an Assistant Superintendent,
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. Be
Happy Monday! I've long been inspired by Mahatma Gandhi's quote, "Be the change that you wish to see in the world." His inspiration for generations has been to help us see our strengths and be further motivated to remake the world. And I try to do this....daily! Sometimes I see it as my role as a parent - be the positive one. Be the role model. Connect with the friends of my teenagers, the other soccer players on their team. And sometimes at work it is all about taking the h