[Apologies - I can use this blog as a personal filing system for things I do not want to lose. This is one such time...]
It looks like an ancient manuscript now. For 11+ years it was pinned above my desk as a prayer-full and personal resolution crafted to frame my time as Principal at Carey Baptist College. It has almost faded into invisibility now - but before it does so, I want to capture it ... because it was such a big deal for me at the time.
"As I begin as principal of Carey, I resolve, in dependence upon God, to develop as a servant leader who is committed to a life of integrity and balance and who spreads encouragement and builds trust among those whom I lead - as we patiently move into a future marked by excellence which we envision together."
The italics were italics because they were my focus on a daily basis. Looking back from 'the inside-out' - 18 months later - I do consider that the grace of God helped me stay true to this resolution.
However one of the challenges for me in moving on from this leadership role has been processing the gap between what I may have intended (from the inside-out) and how I may have been perceived (from the outside-in) by those I led and those with whom I worked. For all sorts of reasons this gap can grow wide for those in senior leadership roles. Sometimes I struggled with the way intention could become skewed by perception in a way that felt unfair.
But as the months go by (and consistent with previous chapters of my working life), I am finding a more contented equilibrium in which the inside-out is trumping the outside-in and intention is interpreting that era of leadership, rather than perception ... and this is a work of the grace of God as well.