I’ve been listening to a new podcast. New to me at least. It’s called The West Wing Weekly. I am, of course, a huge West Wing fan, so I am, of course, loving this podcast. Still, it’s giving me pause. Not really, I just make weird connections between random things in my head.
I was thinking the other day about what sets leaders apart from the pack. There are a lot of answers to that question, and I couldn’t come up with one answer. Frankly, I still can’t come up with one answer. But, at the end of every episode of the West Wing Weekly they say the same thing: “What’s next?”
Now, if you love The West Wing, you’ll understand why they do that. But even if you’ve never seen an episode, it’s a good message. “What’s next?”
One aspect of what distinguishes a library leader from a library employee is that the leader is always asking, “What’s next?”
They ask many other questions and do many other things, but I’d argue that asking, “What’s next?” is one key to library leadership. There is something satisfying about finishing a big task, but it is not enough to bask in that accomplishment. Sooner (rather then later) you have to ask yourself: “What’s next?”
Thinking about the future shows initiative; it shows knowledge of the library environment around you; and it shows that you’re thinking not just about what’s on your to-do list, but on what can be done to improve your library for your patrons.
If you want to be a library leader then make your new mantra “What’s next?”