"A nickel goes a
long way now. You can carry it around for days without finding a thing it will
ARE YOU STILL INSPIRED?
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
"'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
"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
"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.