Make your personal mission matter.

The #NAISAC theme “make your mission matter” leads me to ask if I am making my personal mission matter.

Why am I a Head of School? For whatever personal reason I accepted the position at Wheeling Country Day School in 2009, I have come to the inspiring conclusion that I am a Head of School to nurture leadership skills in others – my team, my faculty, my students and even their parents.

Yes I see them all as leaders, and no I am not concerned about having too many chiefs. I need each of those constituents to have a voice, to be a spark for change. I need to convene conversations among us, so we advocate for the passions that each one of us has no matter what our individual age or experience. To pull up a chair to the table communicating with one another in disagreement and in consensus allows us to improve our collective humanity. (An art lost through social media – particularly in the recent months.)

I am beginning to wonder as an academic anthropologist would, given what I am doing and why I am doing it, what more can I do?

Onaje X.O. Woodbine seemed to be sharing his personal mission when he quit the Yale basketball team to pursue philosophy and in turn serve others. “I needed to become the person I was meant to be.”

That has me thinking further. Who is the person I am meant to be? I am not she… yet. I am only just embarking on the journey to answer that question.

As Dr. Woodbine’s personal narrative demonstrated, when we ask such a question and act on it, the action provokes anger in some. It opens us to criticism and sets us in a light as being selfish. A label like this can cripple us from reaching our potential if we allow it.

But their criticism suggests not our selfishness, but theirs. For the judgment is based only in that I am no longer serving them. I am no longer who they need me to be in their lives.

To not become the person I was meant to be… that would be selfish. Being who I am meant to be and helping others realize who they are meant to be… now that is a personal mission that matters.