Connecticut Association of School Librarians
I have been inspired after recently reading some books by Seth Godin.
Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us is about leadership, a major role for school librarians, and belonging to a tribe, a group with “a shared interest and a way to communicate.”
Our Ning makes us a tribe. It is a way for us to connect and grow, which aligns with AASL’s Standards for the 21st-Century Learner. Social media gives us an opportunity to share what works, to share something new and to change. It gives us a way connect and “to amplify” our work. I like the idea of amplifying the value of school libraries, my passion and yours.
“One of the most powerful of our survival mechanisms is to be part of a tribe, to contribute to (and take from) a group of like-minded people.” That is certainly a need in these economic times and a valuable tool for us.
Godin says, “we’re stuck acting like managers or employees, instead of like the leaders we could become. We’re embracing a factory instead of a tribe.” We need to become leaders and provide something “remarkable.”
“Leadership...is about creating change that you believe in.” Do you truly believe that our AASL Standards for the 21st-Century Learner will encourage students to think, create, share and grow into learners 4 life?
Godin suggests that “For the first time everyone in an organization--not just the boss--is expected to lead.” Considering the volume of criticism aimed at education and the demand for change, that idea resonates. Collaborating with like-minded educators may accomplish that goal of preparing students to Learn 4 Life.
Personally, I think our standards exemplify what we need to concentrate on in education. We need to develop and encourage L4L: Learning 4 Life. We can explain our mission in four words that even a kindergartner can understand: THINK, CREATE, SHARE, GROW.
“Today, the market wants change.” This is a great opportunity for us. Having the right skills and disposition is critical.
“If leadership is the ability to create change your tribe believes in, and the market demands change, then the market demands leaders.”
“The organizations of the future are filled with smart, fast, flexible people on a mission. The thing is, that requires leadership.” That is also the definition of a school library!
We need to answer that call for leadership and change.
“In unstable times, growth comes from leaders who create change and engage their organizations, instead of from managers who push their employees to do more for less.”
One person can make a difference. Godin encourages us to have “faith that you can do it.”
“When you lead without compensation, when you sacrifice without guarantee, when you take risks because you believe, then you are demonstrating your faith in the tribe and its mission.”
“The secret of leadership is simple: Do what you believe in. Paint a picture of the future. Go there. People will follow.” Match your hope with your optimism. Use AASL's online Planning Guide to help you get there.
“I don’t think we have any choice. I think we have an obligation to change the rules, to raise the bar, to play a different game, and to play it better than anyone has any right to believe is possible.” Amen! That's what we need to do with the school library program.
“No one gives you permission or approval or a permit to lead. You can just do it. The only one who can say no is you.” Please don’t say no. We can’t afford to say no.
I think you can see why my brain was buzzing after reading this book and why I wanted to share my highlights from the book.
Let’s make this Ning an effective tribe. Participate in the journey. We need more sideways discussion from member to member so that we can help and encourage each other.
You can download a free audio version of the book Tribes.