In response to the 11/11/2010 post, “Yes, I Know the Hours are Long – Part 6,” a reader writes: Distract and redirect and then make changes? Are teachers a bunch of idiots that won’t recognize that this is going on? Teachers are not a bunch of puppies that you can pat on the head, say “good job” and give a treat to. I find the reader’s comments extremely unprofessional and insulting. Although it is not indicated, it makes me wonder if the comments were really written by a principal who is trying to justify his or her micromanagement. They are the ones dictating all of the changes and hard work and we are the ones implementing them. By the way, there is no apostrophe in egos. SC Response Actually, an assistant principal wrote the post. But the idea of using small victories to build momentum for bigger changes is a valid and tactical leadership practice. Breaking big initiatives into small, actionable tasks is a valid leadership practice. Celebrating small successes, the wink, the pat on the back are all valid leadership practices. Are these practices manipulative? Yes. But leadership is a form manipulation. A successful leader convinces the individual to sacrifice self-interest for the greater good. This may take the form of reason, passion, force, and/or exchange. The more successful the leader, the greater the number of individuals they are able to lead. Could the AP have written the comment in a more polished and subversive manner? Possibly, but would that not have been even more insulting? It pains me that you felt that you were disrespected. The purpose of this blog is discourse, dialogue and critical thought. If I agree with you, I need to understand why. If I disagree with you, I need to analyze my position and build a contrary argument. Let’s abandon insult in favor of rational debate and friendly disagreement. Additionally, I do believe that everyone in the LYS Nation understands that teachers do the heavy lifting in education. To argue otherwise is simply asinine. But it is the responsibility of leadership to point teachers in the right direction, support them, monitor their progress, and as conditions change, adjust the direction in which the organization is heading. To not do so is leadership failure. When leadership fails, teachers fail. And when teachers fail, students fail. It is that understanding that drives my work. Finally, sorry about the typo, they drive me nuts also. Think. Work. Achieve. Your turn…Attend 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