Posting intermittently as life and work allow has freed me of the “must post everyday” mentality that I think is the bane of many bloggers. I particularly enjoyed writing my most recent post about spending my time leading the people who matter, but after I published it here and on LeaderTalk, it occurred to me that I didn’t give any examples of how this applies more directly to leading the adults in the building.
Leading for the majority means that I…
- …avoid like the plague addressing the entire staff or an entire department about the transgressions of a minority. No one likes receiving the all-staff email that starts out with, “It has come to our attention that several of you are not showing up for your assigned duty in the cafeteria…” Nonsense. If Mr. Jones isn’t cutting the mustard, I take it up with him. Sure it’s uncomfortable the first, oh, hundred times, but that comes with the big, fancy office.
- …use policy as a guide when making decisions, but not as the Gospel. There is always a chance it was written by someone in the late ’80s who retired years ago who had a particular axe to grind. (Seriously? “Students may not use the pay phones during class time?”)
- …focus on what is best for kids, not what is easiest or most comfortable for adults. Yes, I know that having your prep during block 1 is more convenient, but you’re the only person who teaches Nuclear Physics and that’s when it best fits most kids’ schedules.
- …communicate with others if there is a chance that they’ll feel like their “power” was undermined. For instance, if I opt to give a student back his confiscated cell phone prior to 3:00 (per policy!) because he has to leave to pick up his little sister at elementary school.
So it’s tricky, this “leading for the majority” thing. But I can tell you that in the end I’ll sleep better at night.