In response to the comment “Do Something / Do Nothing,” a reader writes:
“Sean, on point three, I have learned that the only unforgivable decision is no decision. Make a good decision and I will cheer you on. Make a bad decision and I will expect you to learn from it. Make no decision and I will fire you.”
Your comment is very similar to what I believe and how I coached my staff. The genesis of the belief began when I was an AP. Working with my teachers, I would tell them that they were ones that were the closest to the problem. The solution they developed would not only be the most expedient, it would most likely be the most appropriate. After all, they possessed the timeliest information. As long as they acted in the best interest of the student, I would work to support their decision and protect them for making it. They just had to understand that the decision could be overturned anywhere upstream and to not take it personal. On the other hand, to simply watch as a situation unfolded and to not make a decision was inexcusable.
As I progressed in my career, I realized that the raises that come with the promotions are some of the compensation for having to make tougher and more complex decisions. We are not paid more for the easy stuff; we are paid more for the hard stuff.
If you are a teacher or AP who has a difficult time making decisions, keep practicing. If you are a principal or assistant superintendent that who has a difficult time making decisions, step up or step aside. And for the record, deciding who to blame, is not a meaningful decision.
Think. Work. Achieve.