Thursday, March 27, 2008

Revolutions are not about trifles, but they spring from trifles.

We welcome the promise of spring, warmer weather, more daylight, and being a part of the growth that happens in our world. Here are some "spring things" that are valuable at any time of the year and essential for all of us to be effective at our respective work in public education. Thank you for your consistent, caring, and competent service to the students and families in our community.

Good things start with our own behavior. As a person and professional when we model a high concern for all people and a high concern for productivity, we see the results we want from the relationships we need.

Translation: Management is permitted to behave badly and to engage in hostile tactics to belittle and degrade you. We have the backing of the organization and can claim that you are at fault for all of the District's current woes. Of course, since we are modeling no concern for anyone but ourselves, we obviously don't want to see any results because results are measurable and that is the last thing we need right now.

Unconditional love for all people, even those who are tough to love, is still the best way.

Translation: I have heard other people use this expression and it seemed like a good thing to include here. Of course, we employ a slightly different tactic. We like to call it "Tough Hate". We hate everyone we can't effectively bully, control or manipulate into violating public trust without being detected.

Think proactively about how best to do the work, and invest in the growth and development of people. Empower people to do their job, but don’t abandon them with an impossible assignment.

Translation: Ponder ways to reduce your workload while increasing your pay. Delegate your work to people who still believe it is necessary to exert effort for a paycheck. We don't consider our enemies to be people, so bury them with work and if they start thinking about ways to adjust your management model, assign more work to them and shorten every timeline.

Adjust your leadership behavior to match the needs of others. Competent and committed people need supportive leadership behaviors. If a person is not competent or committed, it is our first job to help them grow.

Translation: Show your allies how to conduct "power meetings" where sitting around and talking about important things can replace actual implementation. People that work for the District, but seek to use public money appropriately, should be shown the door. The growth they seek is inconsistent with the current management model.

Some conflict is a natural part of all things where people with different values and limited resources exist. Always use "what is best for learning" as the North Star to process these issues. Focus people’s attention on something more important than their own opinion.

Translation: No translation needed. The opinions of others are not important.

It will always be a little personal when dealing with parents about their kids, but don’t take their behavior personally in working through issues and trying to help. Treatment of people is so important. Always do what is right, regardless of who came up with the idea.

Translation: People tend to be hyper-sensitive about the crap you pound into their child's head. Smile and nod as frequently as possible. Use terms like, "I understand" and "I feel the same way." Always do what you want. What you want is always right. If we think it isn't, we'll force you to "grow".

Simplify paperwork and preserve the purpose of the process by not letting service to the bureaucracy hinder service to people. Respect people’s time and energy and focus efforts on those things that will really make a difference for learning.

Translation: Don't write anything down. Do not praise employees in writing. Value other people's time by not meeting with them. If they want to "meet" with you, they likely are not your ally. Offer them an opportunity for "growth".

Have a sense of pride in your work, but stay in balance. Everyone around you benefits from a happier and healthier "you." Have life interests beyond work. Delight in the success of others.

Translation: Since you work for money, take pride in maximizing your earnings while minimizing your effort. Spend as much time away from your cubicle as possible. Take pleasure in your tasks being completed by your underlings.

It is good to work hard, work smart, and play some, too!

Translation: Do all of your vacation planning at work. Make sure your support staff are adequately distracted by the tasks you have assigned. Great leaders always look like they're having fun. If you have a lot of fun, people might mistake you for a great leader.

Be a student and learn from everyone. Share what you learn.

Translation: Even an Assistant Superintendent can learn from a bookkeeper. What you learn can be shared with friends, family, property developers and Rotarians.

Editorial: Taken from the March paycheck letter from Nick Brossoit.


Anonymous said...

Priceless. Absolutely priceless. I was just rolling on the floor. Nothing changes, does it?

Anonymous said...

Ok, this letter really made me gag. You know, when you get an email from your boss (Nick) you assume there's something important in it that you should read. Well, this letter was an incredible waste of my time and, frankly, I resent having my time wasted.

Did he go to the Hallmark Shop and get his ideas for this letter from greeting cards?
Nick: Please don't bother writing any more letters unless you've got something important to say such as "I'm resigning as Superintendent."

Anonymous said...

He sounds like he is addressing a second grade class. Wait..... He's a second class citizen that can't make the grade. Sorry!

Anonymous said...

I know he has kids. I must not understand?

Anonymous said...

Check the following article. It is instructive of the situation at ESD. It was on NPR this morning.

Anonymous said...

Share what you learn? Careful. Depending on what you learn, sharing it might get you fired.