A Reader Comments… Lonely

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“Leadership can be lonely; especially for those who are trying to captain a ship that has been heading in the wrong direction. Those “captains” don’t have time to stop the ship; they have to turn the ship around and head in the opposite direction, while going full throttle. The push back can be subtle or direct, covert or overt, passive or aggressive; but it is there. There is always the group, often a strong faction, attacking leadership.

As someone who is working hard to turn a ship around, sometimes I wonder if I’m expecting too much or just unrealistic about what can be done. Then I remember, there are kids that depend on me to get this to happen.”


SC Response
I’m going to add couple of points to your comment, a comment that has merit.

Leadership is lonely, and it gets lonelier the higher up you go. It is the nature of the beast. It is also why leadership is a volunteer job. No one makes you apply. And it is because of the volunteer nature of true leadership, that I abhor self-centered kingdom builders who masquerade as leaders. If you pursued the position because you like it when people kowtow to you, at best, you may be an average manager.

Push-back is part of the job. In fact, if you aren’t getting any push back, you aren’t changing anything of substance. Push back simple means that people are getting out of their comfort zone. Expect it, empathize with it, but don’t let it slow down progress.

Even if it can’t be done, you have to believe that it can be done. As soon as you believe it can’t, you will be right. Stay focused and stay positive. If the task is seemingly impossible, break it into smaller, achievable chunks. A 1% increase each week becomes a 36% increase for the entire school year.

As a leader, you have to make it about the kids. As adults, we are there to work. Work can be either enjoyable of drudgery, but it is still work. When the focus is always on student success, once the success begins to happen, the work becomes much less bothersome.


Think. Work. Achieve.

The Fundamental Five poster submissions keep coming in, don’t be left out. The contest deadline is Friday, September 18th.

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