Sandra Donaghue: Leading with L.O.V.E. – Energy Bites

4 Energy Bites  to nourish your leadership energy by Sandra Donaghue

Leading with L.O.V.E.

We are called to leadership, called by our heartstrings and by our love for what we do.  If this is so, why is it sometimes so hard to put love first?   Perhaps it is because leaders are called to make decisions that require us to be bold, to make the decisions that no one else wants to make?  With the multitude of decisions that educational leaders need to make each and every day, it is easy to push your love of the role aside and opt for efficiency and speed.  

Let’s begin today with these 4 ENERGY BITES  to nourish us and help us find the L.O.V.E. 

Energy Bite # 1:  Love Yourself

Start with self-love.  There is a reason that we put  the oxygen mask on first when the plane is in distress.  Similarly, we need to prioritize ourselves.  We energize and fuel ourselves with self-love.  Sounds simple, yet it is so hard for servant leaders to actually do.  Start by practicing gratitude daily, and living with GRACE.  When you live with  grace, you practice self-forgiveness, self-acceptance, self-appreciation.  This combined with knowing your WHY,   are great steps to take in your journey towards self-love.   

Energy Bite #2:   Open Yourself Up 

Being open to new ideas and opportunities seems like it is pretty straightforward and an easy thing to do.  However, it is mindset and a commitment to being OPEN to new, differing or contrary ideas.  This requires practice and a willingness to listen, validate and encourage others to share and offer their voices towards building shared solutions.  As leaders, the work that we do requires a SHARED vision in order to achieve goals and success.  This means that we welcome variety, change and all voices to create an authentic shared experience.  As leaders, we must be brave and vulnerable and this also serves as  a model for our educators to use and then they in turn will use this model for their students. Work on this by allowing yourself to be OPEN to embrace new learning daily.

Energy Bite # 3:  Value others

We have chosen to be in a leadership role, most of us felt it was a calling.  So remind yourself daily of your own personal worth and value.  Value others for where they are and what they offer daily.  Value their time by being present when you are with them.  Value their voice, by listening with the intent to understand and support.  Value where they are, with the goal of elevating and encouraging growth.    Leaders need to value what they do as much as who they serve.  When you are true to yourself,  you will see and share others’ valuable attributes daily.

Energy Bite # 4:  Energize yourself daily

Allow yourself to feel  the energy that comes when you are simply grateful for what you have, where you are and what the day ahead provides – new beginnings, some endings and endless possibilities exist within each and every day.  Use this to FUEL yourself, to energize yourself and accept each interaction as an opportunity to exchange energy with another person.  Find your people – the ones who shine their sunshine on you as well.  Feel that warmth and let it fuel you internally.  When you engage in energy exchanges in this manner as a leader, you will be energized and also equally able to ENERGIZE others.  

Leading with L.O.V.E. is life-giving and allows you to feel your emotional investments in a meaningful and positive way.  

Cheers to your L.O.V.E. journey and here’s to hoping you find these 4 ENERGY BITES nourishing enough to move you forward or bring you  back to your beginning – loving what you do and leading and  learning with L.O.V.E.   

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Dr. Matthew X. Joseph is currently the director of curriculum, instruction, and assessment in Leicester Public Schools. He has been a school and district leader in many capacities in public education over his 25 years in the field. Experiences such as the Director of Digital Learning and Innovation in Milford Public Schools (MA), elementary school principal in Natick, MA and Attleboro, MA, classroom teacher, and district professional development specialist have provided Matt incredible insights on how to best support teaching and learning. This experience has led to nationally publishing articles and opportunities to speak at multiple state and national events. He is the co-author of Modern Mentoring, Reimagining Teacher Mentorship (Times 10, 2019). His master's degree is in special education and his Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from Boston College. Follow him on Twitter @matthewxjoseph

One thought on “Sandra Donaghue: Leading with L.O.V.E. – Energy Bites

  1. Sandra is the Energy Biter! She lives what she says and I have been so fortunate to be the receiver of some of her bites as she continues to inspire, motivate and L.O.V.E. me along the way.


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