A LYS Superintendent submits the following: I have noticed a new and distinct martyr complex at work in public education. Actually, the complex may not be new, but I just noticed it. Let me explain. As schools are facing the results of the State’s calculated response to accountability this year, I hear many “leaders” standing up saying “Blame me,” and “I own that, I was the leader.” There are many variations to the theme, but you get the drift. This is somewhat a refreshing trend, but it is getting to be such a common response that it is almost simply becoming the new “got to say” fad. Everyone wants to be nailed to the cross, because that’s what “great” leaders do. Let’s look at this. If your school failed, you are to blame. Say it once, own it forever, and move on. Once you have acknowledged the failure ONCE, move on to the next step. Here is where I see few people treading out fear of being called a bad leader. Understand there is a difference, a huge difference, between making excuses and looking for causes and solutions. In my organization, I can tell you that I have found very few central office administrators focusing on failure analysis and solution finding. This will change. The ultimate failure of leadership at this point is NOT searching for failure causes. Just as Feynman did when Challenger went down in the mid 1980’s, you MUST analyze why you failed and formulate solutions. That is NOT excuse making, that is problem solving. Your central office staff must embrace this. If not, they will hinder your progress in the future. SC Response I glad you have been hearing “Blame me” and “I own that,” because I haven’t heard those comments very often outside of the LYS Nation. What I have heard is a lot of “The campus really dropped the ball,” “The principal should have know,” and “If it wasn’t for (insert number and demographic) kids, we would have been (higher rating).” For a results guy and a results organization (me and LYS), we don’t freak out over the end of the year scores. We view the end of the year scores as simply the starting point for next year. And in most cases we aren’t surprised by the end results. We track and adjust so frequently during the year, that we know what we are doing well and what we still need to correct and improve. I’m reminded of a George Patton dispatch from WWII, “You aren’t beaten until you quit. Hence, don’t.” If you are busy making yourself a martyr, that smells a lot like quitting. Think. Work. Achieve. Your turn… Call Jo at (832) 477-LEAD to order your campus set of “The Fundamental 5: The Formula for Quality Instruction.” Individual copies available on Amazon.com! http://tinyurl.com/4ydqd4t Follow Sean Cain and LYS on www.Twitter.com/LYSNation Come visit us at the LYS Booth at the TASA/TASB Fall Conference