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Thank you to the 1646 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 questions! I hope reading 7 Questions with

Lynda Humphries

helps you in your leadership.

Lynda Humphries

Lynda Humphries

Name: Lynda Humphries

Title: Head of Junior School

Organisation: St Philip's Christian College, Gosford

Lynda started her career in Christian schooling as a Primary School Teacher and, after taking on teaching roles in all sectors, has returned to Christian schooling in leadership. Almost thirty years of teaching experience has developed a passion for education which focuses on the social, emotional and spiritual development of the students and staff as foundations which help them to grow academically and professionally.

1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?

As a leader, one of the things that I have found most challenging is learning that we need to hold people accountable. If we are not holding staff and students accountable for their actions, then we are focusing on our own discomfort rather than the need for that person to grow, develop and improve.

2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?

My journey into leadership has been slow and long. I have taught for many years in a range of schools. Along the way, a wonderful mentor explicitly told me that I really should be heading into leadership. It took another ten years for me to feel comfortable with this idea, complete a Masters and eventually feel ready to move into a leadership role. I believed that I was not ready until I could fulfil every item in a job application. God had a very clear hand in this as I had other ideas of what that leadership role would look like but I absolutely believe that I am where God called me to be.

3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?

I go into my day with a plan and a 'To Do List' but I rarely get through the items on the list. Generally, my day is focused on meetings, teaching and responding to the needs of my staff and the students. After school finishes, I begin the work of catching up on some of the items on the list. If possible, I try to do as much work at school as I am able, so that I can focus on my family at home. This often means that I have very long days at work. I have been inspired by hearing Dr Adam Fraser speak on The Third Space and I try to wind down during my drive home from work so that I can be present for my family at home.

4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?

I have recently been learning that I can't save everyone. As much as I would love to care for every student and every staff member, there do come times when you have to recognise that your school may not be the best place for someone. They may be better cared for and supported in a different community. This can be heartbreaking as we are called to love others but part of loving them is always wanting what is best for them and placing them in God's control, not ours.

5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?

I'm not a great reader of leadership books and I am more likely to listen to a podcast on leadership. However, I am currently reading 'Lead Like it Matters to God' by Rich Stearns and my greatest lesson from this book so far is to constantly ask myself the question: How am I being an ambassador for Christ in my decisions, actions and words today?

6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?

Take your time and gain the wisdom that comes from life lessons - there is no big rush to get into leadership. However, also don't wait until you have every item on a job list before you apply or you will never open that door of possibility.

7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?

A few of my staff were recently asked to provide feedback on my performance. I was thrilled to see that the things that they valued in me were the same things that I was working towards. This was confirmation that I am on the right track. Whilst they also had advice on things that I could change and improve, they encouraged me to keep my focus in these areas and this was validating in terms of my leadership style.

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