Byron's Babbles

In The Zoom Where It All Happens

Posted in Citizen Leader, Educational Leadership, Global Leadership, Hamilton, Leadership, Leading Collectively, NASBE by Dr. Byron L. Ernest on October 20, 2020

We kicked off our National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) Annual Conference week today with our New Member Orientation. This is usually a two day institute that we converted to a half day virtual event. It was awesome with lots of great new state board of education members in attendance. I continue to be amazed at the great learning and relationship building that can happen #learningtogetherapart virtually. As I do many times with events like this, I will attempt to do a blog reflection each day on my learning. As we were getting started today, NASBE’s CEO, Robert Hull, made a play on words from the musical Hamilton and said, “In the Zoom where it all happens.” Of course this was in reference to Aaron Burr’s desire to be in the room “where it all happens.” If we want agency we must be in the room.

This really got me thinking how our ability to expand the number of people we can have have in the [Zoom] room. It is one of the silver linings from what we have learned and our adjustments caused by the COVID-19 Global Pandemic. On Day 222 of the Pandemic we know ways to connect virtual and still have deep conversations and the ability to form relationships. This really gives us even a better way to Lead Collectively, which was one of the topics of our New Member Orientation. We must remember that our voice matters.


Also, when we add our voice to the collective, there is power in our collective voice.


We still have a voice when we become part of a group, organization, or board, but it can become even more influential as part of the collective.


By leading collectively we can make a policy ecosystem that is best for all.


As citizen leaders we take stock of the world around us and help to shape the world for those we care about. A citizen leader is an active participant in her world – not a passive observer. We take on the role of citizen leader because we care deeply about the people and places that stand to benefit by our actions. To be an effective citizen leader we must determine who we are and what we stand for.


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