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Are You Still Inspired?
September 20, 2002

"A nickel goes a long way now. You can carry it around for days without finding a thing it will buy." —Anonymous


In the Exchange book, The Art of Leadership: Managing Early Childhood Organizations, Roger Neugebauer, in his article "Go for the Gusto: Putting Zest Back in Your Job," suggests that experienced directors take time to reassess their career goals:

"'To give meaning and direction to life,' contends Hans Selye, author of Stress Without Distress (New York: New American Library, 1974), 'we need a lofty long-range purpose.' Selye further observes that this purpose must have two salient characteristics -- 'It must be something that requires hard work, and its fruits must be sufficiently permanent to accumulate as life goes by.'

"Typically, when directors enter this field, they enter with a profound sense of purpose -- to craft an exemplary program, to make a difference in the lives of children, to build a successful business. Often as years go by, and they become consumed with the endless hassles of keeping the center on its feet, they begin to lose sight of their original goal. Day-to-day survival replaces it as a subconscious goal.

"That is why it is helpful to periodically take a step back and reassess where you are headed. Be brutally honest with yourself. Do you still believe in your original goals? If so, how can you get yourself back on track and out of the rut?

"If your earlier goals no longer seem realistic or exciting, what should you be doing with the rest of your life? Where do you picture yourself in five years? What do you need to do to get there? Can you do this in your current position?

Be especially honest to yourself in answering this last question. You occupy a critical leadership position in your organization. If you have lost the faith, your ability to inspire commitment in those who work for you will be undermined."

To order a copy of the Art of Leadership for yourself, or to order it as the text for a course that you teach, go to www.ChildCareExchange.com.


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