Make it Personal

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A few years ago, when our daughter was a first-year teacher, she shared a note from her principal, one she presented with particular pride. The note was short but powerful. The message: “Thank you for joining our staff. I can already see that as you continue to give your best, you are going to be an awesome teacher!”

The note probably took no more than a minute or two to write, but its impact has been lasting. As a new teacher, our daughter knew she had lots to learn, but the message spoke to the belief her principal had in her personally and recognized that she had lots of potential—if she gave her best.

The principal could have made a general statement about the new teachers at a staff meeting, commented while passing in the hall, or waited to give her feedback until the first formal evaluation. However, the choice to write a personal, inspirational, and confidence-filled note made all the difference (tweet this).

Without question, this gesture and others like it have made this young teacher a loyal fan and unwavering follower of her principal. There probably is no challenge this principal could present that would not be met with enthusiasm and commitment—all because she made leadership personal.

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