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William Sprankles @wsprankles

The Power of Mismatched Socks

This is Libby on her first day of 1st Grade.   She selected her own clothes for the big event just as she does every day.   Mismatched socks are her go to move, but it might be the three pony tail hairstyle, the polka dot and plaid combo, or a tulle skirt with cowboy boots, you just never know.   What you can count on is that there is always something unexpected.    She wears whatever it is with confidence.  Her choices are deliberate each day.  When she looks in the mirror, she likes what she sees and it makes her smile.  As I think about the impression she’s making at school today, I smile.  I think that there is great power in those socks she’s sporting and some things we can all learn from her as leaders.

Libby reminds me to be comfortable in my own skin.  Be who you are all the time.   Each of us brings something special to the leadership team.  Great teams are made up of people with different viewpoints and skill sets.  Great leaders discover what makes them special and make those things their “go to moves”.   They don’t try to be something they aren’t, but rather celebrate what they are.

As I reflect on those times when I’ve done something unexpected as a leader, I recognize that the response if often very positive.  What if we did something unexpected every day?  It might get us out of a rut or help us look at things in a new way.  Libby’s socks make me wonder what bad habits I’ve adopted because it’s just “what we always do”.

The deliberate decision to be different may be exactly what we need to be practicing as urban leaders.

By Amy Crouse

Princeton City School District

Director of Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment

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One comment on “The Power of Mismatched Socks

  1. Pam
    August 26, 2011

    Beautifully expressed, my friend. If more people thought like your six year old, think how much easier their lives would be. I love her confidence!

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