In response to the post, “Working Hard,” a reader writes:

“Stress is handled differently by people. Sometimes just asking a co-worker how they are is a balm to their spirit. Let’s them know you care. Knowing when to leave a stressed out looking co-worker alone is ok if you don’t know what to say or do. Giving a smile once in a while to your co-workers might just help a stressed out person. Letting a co-worker know that they can have time to get things done if they need more time can also help. BE a team player and help if you can.

If you are the cause of the stress, did you do it because you are stressed and you want to reach out and poke at another, or are you just doing your job? If doing your job is the cause of another having stress, then do your job and go on, they’ll be ok.

Me? I’m easy-going. I know that things can’t get much worse than they are, no matter what it is that’s trying to get me down. I know that my belief system is so ingrained in me that no one can cause me to stop enjoying myself, my day, and my life. I also believe that your job should be one you enjoy and that you have fun doing. So, maybe if being an educator isn’t turning out to be what you thought it was going to be, then you might be in for a lot of soul-searching.

If not, then you are an educator. We need tough people with solid minds and thick skins to do this job. We have a lot to learn to do the LYS system. And I say we go for it, heart and soul and learn to be a LYS’er.”

SC Response
Exactly. I love the job of education and all that comes with it, good and bad. I love it when things are going well and I love it when things aren’t going well. In fact, I have learned that when things aren’t going well the next big innovation is just around the corner. We just have to look beyond ourselves to find it.

I wrote the working hard post because it illustrates a fact that we often miss. With all of the constraints that our organizations face each day, the biggest one is often the well-intentioned but misguided beliefs of leadership. When we are in the thick of it, we worry that we are pushing our teams too hard. Then when we are done, we realize that our teams could have been great, if only we had pushed and pulled them just a little more.

When I first became a principal, I really tried to actualize some of the misguided brain-washing that my professors tried to shove into my head while earning my M.Ed. I quickly found out that the teachings of leadership theory by those who had never been leaders of people was of little help once your name was on the bottom line. Fortunately, growing up I had the examples of my relatives who were military leaders, my former coaches and Roy Smith (Aldine ISD Principal and Assistant Superintendent) to fall back on. As I struggled to reconcile the “theory” and “practice” of leadership, it was Brezina who provided the insight that crystallized my understanding. Comfortable and great are mutually exclusive. As the leader, you have to decide which your team will be.

Think. Work. Achieve.

Your turn…