Everyone deserves a champion. We find it easy to support and defend the people we love. When it comes to our work, it’s also effortless to champion those who think the same way we do. Surrounding ourselves with like minded people is very comfy.
When I first started using Twitter for professional networking and learning back in 2010, I read and watched quite a few “How to Twitter” resources. Lots of folks recommend that we don’t just follow those whose views we identify with but also those who have views we do not agree with. The same holds true for our other professional (and personal) interactions. Inviting those who don’t agree with me broadens my perspective and lessens my complacency. It’s hard, but every time I do it, I grow and learn. People with differing views working together can lead to deeper discussion and then on to greater understanding.
Here’s the challenge: who in your school or workplace needs a champion? Is it that student that’s a little hard to like? Is it a teacher who has leadership skills but just doesn’t know how to use them to get others on board? It is a true test of my leadership when I can defend and support someone whose strengths I see, but who doesn’t think like me, or even agree with me all the time! My world is richer when I do it.