Where’s the Celebration in Compliance? 5 Actions to Daring Leadership

“Anyone who does anything to help a child in his life is a hero to me. ”
– Fred Rogers (Mr. Rogers)

I was pulling out the flip chart paper for my morning Dare to Declare speaking engagement “Creating a Caring Culture through Consideration” when my cell phone rang. It was a Supervisor from my Childcare organization (a three hour drive away) who was reporting that the Ministry of Education’s Program Advisor had made a surprise entrance. The reason given for the full day investigation was that there had not been a Serious Occurrence reported in the past two years. The seven hour visit and past document retrieval requirement with individual employee interviews raised feelings of anxiety for the Supervisor and her educators. The following week as I explained and questioned the Manager of Child Care Quality Assurance Licensing Branch, Early Years and Child Care Division, Ministry of Education, the only way we could have avoided the process was to not have exhibited excellence.

After the workshop I travelled back to Chatham-Kent where I met my daughter and drove on to Columbus,Ohio for a Thirty One Gifts conference. It is a direct sales company which my daughter has enrolled me in so I could participate in my first conference. As I watched the CEO lead the three days with encouragement and words of inspiration I felt the sharp contrast to what I had experienced only hours before. Streams of women strolled, waved and smiled as they crossed the stage to celebrate their business milestones and accomplishments. I wondered how much more shouldn’t those who care for others be celebrated, recognized and rewarded?

“In the external scheme of things, shining moments are as brief as the twinkling of an eye, yet such twinklings are what eternity is made of – moments when we human beings can say “I love you,” “I’m proud of you,” “I forgive you,” “I’m grateful for you.” That’s what eternity is made of: invisible imperishable good stuff.”
– Fred Rogers,
The World According to Mister Rogers: Important Things to Remember

5 Actions to Daring Leadership

As a Director of a Childcare I am reflecting on what I can celebrate:

  1. Modelling the type of leadership I know our educators deserve. Walk the talk.
  2. Advocating passionately to government officials to reconsider their methods as merely a means to an end.
  3. Supporting educators who wish to expand their interests and seek entrepreneurial opportunities to step into their gifts.
  4. Connecting to strengthen people, access resources and create opportunities.
  5. Radical Thinking in brainstorming, and bravely to stepping out of the rut.

“Somebody has to take responsibility for being a leader.”
– Toni Morrison

For many years of my life I thought the “bad ass” part of my personality who takes control of my actions when I have been wronged was my strong side. I had a wise friend question me “How do you want to show up?” I answered, “Kind, generous, loving and smart”. She then asked if I thought I was strong when I was acting in those ways? I was surprised by my conclusion that I was. I typed those four words on my phone.

I realized that a month ago during a women’s meet up Natalie Howe led us through an exercise where women gifted each other with words they felt described the other person. Those were some of same words I had received. Try it for yourself!

Take out a blank paper and number it one to twenty . Then write down 20 words which are things you are and that you like about yourself. Don’t settle – be radically you.

I have a vision of the Ministry of Education Early Years Division where Compliance and Supervision is also Mentoring and Recognition of excellence.

“The more you celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.”
– Oprah.