In response to the post, “Leadership / Lonely,” a reader writes:
“Let me add to this strand. Cain and I had very much the same conversation at a different time and place. I received the very same advice. I also chose to fight the good fight and engage. We won. The students won. The teachers and parents and all the others in the district that are still there won, and they continue to do so.
I also was stolen and promoted by another district before they could fire me (and they would have had I stayed) but I get to continue the good fight. The sad part is that there were several other principals that faced the same situation with me at that time but in different districts. They received similar advice from Cain, but they chose to play it safe (?) and their careers went up in smoke. The failure to engage is the only sure fire, 100% recipe for defeat, so given the choice, “With a smile on your face and a song in your heart” choose to engage.”
What is interesting is in our profession, engaging at full speed can turn most no-win situations into a win-win situation. As the writer points out, the students win, the community wins, most of the staff wins and even the principal wins. However, engaging at full speed does not mean playing politics at full speed. The politically expedient decision will seem like the prudent choice, but as soon as you make the political choice, you give up the moral high ground. At that point, the only thing that disappears faster than your effectiveness is your credibility.
Think. Work. Achieve.