There was a very interesting article on Edutopia today (if you don't follow Edutopia you better start) about mistakes students make. The article talks about how a history of mistakes leads to students responding emotionally to "red ink" on assessments. I won't reveal too much about the article, but it is a good read.
This article led me to think about my role as a leader and whether a history of mistakes may lead me to avoid taking risks. Much of what I have read about effective leadership talks about the need to take risks if change is to be implemented. This change is all around us in education, from planning, to assessing, to supporting students, and we are looking at everything we do with a critical eye. To begin implementing this change, risks need to be taken and therefor mistakes are inevitable. I can do one of two things, avoid the risks or tackle them head on knowing there will be challenges. In order to take these risks I need a network of support to help guide me, either with advice or simply listening to me talk about my challenges. I have been very fortunate to be surrounded by supportive people during my career; from my wife to my colleagues to my supervisors, they have always "had my back". When I have made mistakes they have been there to help me look at them as learning experiences.
As I continue to grow as a leader I need to be aware of the emotional response I will have to mistakes I make along the way. I also need to continue to lean on those around me for support so I can take the necessary risks needed to implement change.