In response to the posts on, “Leadership / Lonely,” a reader writes:
“As far as rookies are concerned I can relate because I am the stereotypical rookie. I have only been in the admin game for two years but I have had success because I listen and learn from you “salty dogs.” That’s a Marine term for experienced. However, I never want to lose my rookie fire. I show up earlier, work harder, organize much more meticulously, collaborate more effectively, and walk the school more often than other AP’s in my district who have been passed over and reassigned.
Like Sean, I would rather act and make a mistake than freeze up and get shot in combat. Keep the fires burning rookies; we are the future of Texas Education!”
Great comment! There are a couple of points that I want to extend.
1. To ignore the experience of those before us is full-hardy, yet to blindly follow their lead is equally dangerous. The reason why is that those before us played a different game than what is being played right now. I for one was a principal under TAAS. I never had to face TAKS accountability as a principal. So we use the experience of those before us to speed up our learning curve. To help us recognize pitfalls and patterns earlier. Then with the extra time, we can then extend the practice and more quickly enter into unexplored areas of instructional craft and student achievement. Again, why external coaches are so valuable. Your “out-of-touch” boss gives you directives; ignore them at your own peril. Your “out-of-touch” coach gives you suggestions; ignore them at your discretion.
2. You are right, great rookies do move faster than the rest of us. That is a big part of the value you bring to the organization. If we needed the “go slow; be prudent; been there, done that” person on the team, we would have hired the person with more experience.
3. There are great tactical and strategic advantages to constantly moving forward. I believe there is more to be gained by pushing yourself and your team, than by waiting and reacting. In the thick of the work, we often second guess ourselves and think that we should go slower. But in hindsight, we often recognize that the critical mistakes were the lack of speed and decisive action.
Think. Work. Achieve.