“There is a direct relationship between the level of connection people feel with their leader and the level of effort they are willing to invest in achieving goals.” – Tim Kight.
Building connections is essential for effectively serving any district as Superintendent. There are reasons district leaders live in the communities they serve – building trust and relationships. With my children attending and graduating from our schools, I’ve had the honor of interacting with hundreds of parents. During levy campaigns, I directly engaged with thousands of community members. At Giant Eagle on Saturday morning or the Rusty Bucket for an evening dinner, talking with community members is part of the job – it is critical in cultivating connections.
During Covid-19, building connections is different. We haven’t had Football Friday Nights or Winterfest; personal interactions have been limited. We miss personal communication, but we still strive to connect and engage. We act with empathy and care for each other. We give each other grace. We listen to understand; We adapt and adjust to what’s safe and prudent.
From Community Zoom Meetings with thousands of community members to personal phone calls instead of an email response, to care deeply and listen carefully is critical. I still have much work to do. I need to be more concise in my written responses and pause to hear more when in person. I will live with a growth mindset and continue to create opportunities for connections.