In response to the 12/2/2010 post, “Poisonous Staff – Part 3,” the original writer sends in another update:For yet another follow up, my relationship with the faculty member I first wrote about is now quite strong. In fact, I see the beginnings of a good administrator in this person. If your principal is getting push back, here is my advice:1. Most leaders do not communicate enough. E. Don Brown once told me 40% of the principal’s time should be spent communicating vision and expectations to teachers, parents, and other administrators. I have yet to hit the 40% mark, but the closer I get it the more effective I become. You have to be like a broken record, always on message, to hit 40%.2. Most leaders do not communicate effectively. As a leader you need to have expert knowledge of what you are trying to implement on your campus. I have seen principals asked straight questions regarding the reasons why a plan was being started and not being able to give a solid, level, rational answer. That might be OK for an AP, but not the principal. The idea ends up sounding like just another other program or a “not based on the current education reality” ESC endeavor. You simply lose credibility if you can’t talk the walk. I am not talking about justifying, I am talking about expert level knowledge that inspires confidence in others and gets them onboard.3. Be patient. Learn to influence others. Weak leaders fall back on, “Well, if you are not on board you are not a team player and maybe you need to move on,” with the veiled threat of, “I will document you and move you along”. This is a bad first, second and/or third move. It may become needed, but many leaders play this card much too soon and much too often. Remember Brezina’s rejoinder, “You can’t fire them all.” Influence trumps power almost every time.SC ResponseThere is a hidden component of constant communication. The communication needs to be tight, concrete, measurable and actionable. There are tons of people who can talk up a storm. But lots of pretty talk and no action, adds up to, No Action.The LYS Nation talks different than the rest of the education world. We don’t discuss the power of trying to engage in the abstract idea of work. We simply say what we are going to do, do it; say what we are going to do next, do it; and so on. When I was a principal, the mantra on my campus was, “Get them in school. Get them in class. Get them in college.” Each step was measurable, each step was actionable and each step kept us on a specific path. We were hedgehogs before hedgehogs were cools. One reason why you are getting closer to the 40% mark is because you are starting to talk less, but say more.As for influence trumps power, you could not be more right. In fact, power doesn’t make a leader, power makes a petulant brat. Influence is the currency of leadership. And the less formal power you have, the more you are forced to build true leadership skills. Think Covey’s conscripts vs. volunteers. I’ve yet to meet the petulant brat that can engage both the heart and the head of anyone.Think. Work. Achieve. Your turn…Follow Sean Cain on Twitter@LYSNationAttend the LYS Presentation at the National Conference on EducationAttend the LYS Presentation at the TASB Winter Legal ConferenceVisit the LYS Booth at the NASSP ConferenceAttend the LYS Presentation at the Texas Middle School Conference

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