Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Working with and For Great People

With all of the stresss and anxiety that people are feeling tonight. I've decided that my post is going to have nothing to do with politics. Even though the bing noise on NBC that signifies new information  is completely distracting! (That and my wife yelling at the TV!)

Instead, I am going to discuss two of the positive leaders I have worked for. Even though I have worked for some real schlubs, it is the outstanding leaders that have made the true impact on my life and career. The first person I want to discuss is the former Superintendent of Hanover, Dr. Roberson. I freely admit that one of my main themes is directly lifted from him. "Keep the main thing the main thing." was a constant statement out of his mouth. Get off track, or make suggestions that were not in the best interest of the student, and you knew what was coming out of his mouth. Matter of fact, we often said it, and meant it when he wasn't around. What in my mind made him truly exceptional though was how he lead through a culture of respect instead of a culture of  fear. You know what? I worked a hell of a lot harder for him due to this fact. The best thing he did for Hanover, in my opinion, was help grow their own leaders. He took time out of his schedule to teach a group of teacher leaders. He was an instructor for my Masters cohort, and he impacted dozens of people in a positive manner. He showed through his actions what a great leader looked like. You trusted his judgement and knew that decisions were based upon fact and the needs of the students.

The other person I want to mention is my current boss, Nancy. Nancy is the type of person who is perfect for me to learn from. I can be a little impulsive  and like to jump into action! Some times without enough planning and fore thought.  She keeps up-to-date, is a voracious reader, not afraid of new ideas or technology, and she trusts her people. A great example is an incident that just happened today. She knows that I love to plan professional development and I am pretty good at planning activities and presentations. Nancy came into my office said "Here are the times, let's discuss this later this afternoon." Later, I brought a plan to her which is different (Thanks Twitter!) then she has ever used before. She looked at it, made some great suggestions, and told me to run with the plan. Many established principals would have resisted the changes, Nancy on the other had was excited. She believes, as do I, that the providing appropriate PD helps teachers grow into better and more effective educators!

I have a feeling that I will come back to this post at some point to expand upon my thoughts and ideas. These two leaders deserve a more in depth blog post.

Mr. President, congratulations  on your reelection. You could learn from these two leaders.

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