Welcome to the Summer Camp Leadership blog. For those of us who lead summer camps, making a positive difference in the lives of young people is our passion. Turning that passion into a reality, however, takes more than the ability to lead songs, teach archery or plan craft projects. Creating camp experiences that truly transform lives takes leadership. Leadership that creates a vision for the future, leadership that inspires and engages others, leadership that remains focused and stays the course. My hope is through this blog you'll find ideas, inspiration and tools to help you be a great summer camp leader.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Self Coaching

Often times as camp leaders we work in environments where we get little outside leadership feedback and advice. We may report to a board of directors that meets infrequently or a supervisor located somewhere other than camp.  On a regular basis we don't get the feedback we need to keep ourselves on track and to challenge us to grow.

One solution to this issue that camp directors might use is self coaching. Bart Tkaczyk of Energizers, LLC and creator of Fourfold Leadership Design suggests that as part of our daily routine as leaders, we ask ourselves a series of self coaching questions. He recommends reflecting on each question and then recording our thoughts in a logbook. Spending 30 to 45 minutes a day reflecting on these questions helps us recognize where we, identifies areas for improvement and helps us track our efforts to improve. To help see progress he encourages leaders to regularly (perhaps monthly) rate themselves on a 1 to 5 scale in each of the coaching areas.

Tkaczyk leadership model consists of four complimentary, strength based "leadership ways." For each he has developed three self coaching questions.

Thinking Energizer
- Did I energize my workplace and home today?
- Did I perfect or learn some new skill today?
- Did I choose and show my positive leadership presence today?

People Operator
- Did I act as a servant leader today?
- Did I recognize other people today?
- Did I authentically listen and demonstrate empathy and deep human understanding today?

Strategic Navigator
- Did I exercise agility today?
- Did I strategize to win today?
- Did I lead change positively today?

Innovator Designer
- Did I employ imagination today?
- Did I design something new today?
- Did I combat some complex problem experimentally today?

While his questions are based on a specific model he uses, you could use a different model of leadership and rework the questions to better fit your situation. The key is to encourage yourself to regularly reflect on where you and challenge yourself to grow. Using self coaching questions offers a framework that can help provide structure and consistency to reflecting on our performance.