We often give so much ourselves to the role of School Business Manager that the saying, Eat, Sleep, SBM, Repeat, could apply to us all.
I was reminded this morning by an School Business Manager colleague of a move in an old computer game I used to play. In the game I eventually discovered that the only way to win the level was to wait until every enemy was practically on top of you and then hit it with everything you had in a spinning, fire-breathing, gun-toting, magic waving kind of way. It wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t co-ordinated, it wasn’t organised. It was a case of using every tool, weapon and health bar I had until devastation lay around me and I was still standing.
The winner at last!
I felt this morning that it was a good analogy for an SBM and I think I’ve spent most of the day trying to work out why. Of course, I don’t carry hand grenades on my belt. I don’t actually have hand guns strapped to muscular thighs, and I’m not much good at using a whip. In fact, it’s a standing joke in our house that I am physically incapable of virtually shooting, running and looking where I am going at the same time.
Nevertheless, I killed the T-Rex in ‘Tomb Raider’, I completed ‘Assassin’s Creed’ and I think I could probably navigate my way around Chenobyl in reality thanks to ‘Call of Duty’!
Because what I do have is resilience.
The ability to pick myself up and try again. The tenacity to accept a failure and learn from it, and the desire to get it right. I believe resilience is a fundamental skill for an SBM.
Even though I can die hundreds of times in these games, I can still pick myself up and start again. I can get a micro-second further along each time before my health pack runs out and, every time I reset, I learn a little bit more about how to survive.
Similarly, I can spend days working on a budget that refuses to balance and keep taking it back to the beginning. It is not unusual for me to put in a full day at work even though I’ve been up all night worrying about the year end audit. I can appreciate that I haven’t given Governors enough information this time and I can come back to the next meeting fully armed with what they need to make a decision. I can share my time with colleagues who are feeling overwhelmed by a deadline.
These are skills I’ve learned in my journey through life and from being an School Business Manager. I’m very proud of them.
So the next time you feel you are surrounded by challenges. That you are at the end of your tether and that you couldn’t possibly resolve the day. Take all your energy, every weapon, every tool, and every ounce of resilience you have and… FIRE!
I’ll leave the last word to Lara…
“A famous explorer once said, that the extraordinary is in what we do, not who we are.”