My journey as an Onward Leader has been transformational and unique. During the course of my residency, I have had so many valuable experiences. I have learned to lead with compassion, but most importantly I’ve learned to reinvent and adapt in order to lead successfully in this time of COVID-19.
As we all know our schools faced many obstacles as we transitioned into distance learning. During this time I reflected on the importance of being flexible and empathetic. COVID-19 has impacted all of us in so many ways such as disturbing our emotional state of mind and making us feel anxious, fearful and disconnected. As a leader, my priority was to ensure I continue to foster and nourish personal connections with all shareholders. As the weeks went by, I realized how essential it was to make sure my students, parents, staff and faculty felt safe and connected by having clear communication and consistent touchpoints.
Leading during the time of COVID-19 has helped me grow as a leader. I had to face my fears and remind myself that it was okay to not know what to do next. This was a very important lesson for me as a leader because when leading, I have a tendency to feel responsible when things go wrong and I experience an urge to fix things immediately. This is what Onward Leaders call being hijacked by our emotions. Thankfully, I had prior knowledge and support from Onward Leaders to bring me back to reality and think rationally to find solutions. I knew that I was in a situation with constant change and uncertainty, but I was okay with it because I had a support system I could rely on. Having this support system was key to making some of the most difficult decisions of my career and coming up with creative solutions.
Being part of the Onward Leaders Program has made a tremendous impact on my journey as a leader. As I prepare for the upcoming academic year, I contemplate and take into account all the advice I received from my incredible mentor principal, the directors, my colleagues in Cohort 4 and the rest of the Onward Leaders cohorts. I know that I will be a great leader because I am surrounded by remarkable and compassionate people.