The reality of this trip laid down beside me last night. I tossed and turned and awoke several times with a dry mouth. Grasping for my frozen Nalgene I couldn’t help but think of all the things left undone.
We had a roster of 10 and now it’s a roster of 12. As a result, food was affected. We had to reshuffle and will probably have to do the same thing again the day of. My two original co-instructors are unable to go on the trip so it will be me as the “Senior instructor.” and a gentlemen who stepped up literally at the last minute, but hasn’t done this before. He’s an outdoor guy so that’s nice, but this is his first time leading a trip like this.
This situation got me thinking about leadership. My “go to” leadership style will be ineffective on this trip. I can feel it. Questions mounted my bike with me as I rode home yesterday, “How can I be an effective leader?” “What is the best leadership style for me on this trip?” I don’t have those answers. I can already tell it will look very different from anything I’ve ever seen from myself before.
I’m not worried though. Well, maybe a little, but it will fade. I do know, however, that, in the end, it’s not about me. It’s about the kids. When I work with that as my focus all else becomes minutiae. I’m great at working with kids. Each day doesn’t have to be pre-planned. Each day doesn’t have to be perfect. I just have to be sure that the kids feel safe, are safe, and manage the risks that accompany our activities. I’ve been doing that for the last 8 years of my life. Being in a new state and working with a new program doesn’t change as much as I’d originally feared.