Put on your own oxygen mask first…

This year we’ve been writing about critical challenges frequently faced by leaders in higher education. Topics have included balancing work and life demands, focusing on the common good, communicating through the day-to-day noise, encouraging high performance, and building effective teams. One thread that runs through all of these challenges is the need for self-awareness and organizational savvy on the part of the leader.

oxygen maskWhenever we ride on an airplane, we’re told to put on our own oxygen mask before helping others. That advice is useful for organizational challenges too. Leaders who are confident of their own goals, priorities, and action plans are better able to help others to cope with new challenges when they arise.

During November we’ll re-visit the topic of personal leadership. We’ll look at ways that knowing our own styles and preferences, exploring our blind spots, and engaging in strategic self-development can help us more effectively meet leadership challenges.

What personal leadership strategies have helped you to put on your own oxygen mask before helping others?

Dee Anne Bonebright

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