Allyson Apsey THE PATH TO SERENDIPITY—Discover the Gifts Along Life's Journey
I had my first opportunity to learn from Allyson Apsey at the July 2019 NAESP conference in Spokane, Washington. She was one of several educational authors presenting as a National Panel to attending participants who aspire to write their own book. Allyson was warm, personable, and truly genuine as she shared her story how Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc published Serendipity.
Apsey was quietly compelling during the presentation. I know I needed to learn more from her when she stated, “You’ve got to take care of you before you take of others...you are important. You are enough.” As a building principal, I am often guilty of not feeling like I am doing enough, let alone being enough. Here are my primary takeaways after reading the Path to Serendipity.
On Apsey’s third stop on The Path to Serendipity, she provides a “new definition of respect” (p. 24). She encourages the reader to start first by considering the environment we need for confidence to grow to make life better for each of us. “All you need to do is move inch by inch towards the person you want to become; that is enough. You are enough” (p. 25). It takes effort, purpose, and work...but you are worth it.
On the fifth stop on The Path to Serendipity, Apsey reminds the reader, “We are all in this together” (p. 33). As a leader, we want those we serve to feel they too are enough. Although we also have a responsibility to “communicate in a way that promotes continuous growth and positive relationships” (p. 36). I think of clear, timely feedback as an opportunity for teachers to fine-tune what is working and communicate possible next steps to meet the needs of each of our students. If you gloss over the feedback with fluff...the teacher nor the student benefits.
On Apsey’s ninth step on The Path to Serendipity Apsey, she addresses empathy and sympathy with author and researcher Brene Brown definition of both. Brene describes sympathy as “feeling for others” and empathy “as feeling with others” (p. 60). So don’t put yourself in their shoes but imagine how they feel in their shoes — followed by being helpful and supportive rather than being judgemental. The hardest one is to throw away your assumptions on what you can do to help, and start asking, How can I help?
In the twelfth step, one word will always stay with me. The word is alongside. I’ve always believed that leadership is not one in front of the others, but an adventure one takes with those that inspire you, side by side. Apsey said it better. “Leading while walking alongside others is good for all of us” (p. 79). I agree.
Apsey has defined thirteen stops for the reader to discover the gifts along their life’s journey. Best to each of on your own Path to Serendipity.