And so it was with pleasure that I recently spoke to an audience of 300 primary school Principals on the 7 Mistakes Leaders make which impact their Productivity. Why? Because I finally got to air some grievances that have had a period of over 13 years to fester.
To set the scene, it’s circa 2004. I have just popped out 3 babies in 3.5 years, I’m working part time as a corporate lawyer and frankly, I’m on the edge.
Being the (somewhat crazy) superwoman I was trying to be at the time, I decided to drop my 4 year old at school prior to dashing to my first meeting of the day. There I was at school drop off in my lovely black suit, high heels and red lippy with an hysterical child clinging to my leg. You see, it was cup cake day. Unfortunately in my mad scramble to ensure 3 children were fed, bathed, watered, clothed, nappied or toilet trained, and surviving on about 5 hours of constantly interrupted sleep a night, having either been pregnant and/or breastfeeding for 5 years straight, I must have missed the cup cake memo.
The teacher gently extracted the traumatised child from my leg, gave me a tissue to wipe the snot off my suit and watched with pity as I fled to the car. I was late for my meeting.
And so it was that I shared this story with 300 Principals pleading with them to rethink the cup cake idea, and the come to school dressed up as a medieval knight idea, and the create a working model of the Titanic idea, and the read 4080 books with mummy in a week idea, and the build a paper mache volcano at home idea, and just cut us busy parents a god damned break.
Unfortunately I think they thought I was joking. Happily they are now super productive leaders and have lots of new found spare time to brainstorm some excellent schemes that will involve both mine and your input as long suffering parents. Sorry guys, I tried.
I received some amazing feedback from one of the principals.
“Kate Christie’s keynote presentation on the 7 Mistakes Leaders Make (in relation to Effective Time Management) was insightful and entertaining and “right on the money.” She readily engaged and easily sustained the attention of a large room of over 300 Principals and Assistant Principals. Many of her observations hit home, rang bells and provided the audience with opportunities for self-reflection on how we manage our time as leaders and how our behaviours influence and impact those around us. I was immediately inspired to compile detailed notes throughout her presentation on her SMART time management strategies and have begun to implement these, with beneficial results. What I also appreciated, was the opportunity to meet with Kate after her presentation and discuss her concepts one-on-one – I found Kate to be very accommodating, with connecting empathy. She clearly understood right where I was at with all that she had to offer and humbly provided further advice. Time well spent!”