Leadership is the topic of countless books, articles, research projects, etc. It is a tangible yet difficult concept to fully define. The following represent important aspects of leadership. I know there are more; however, these are essential.
Leaders need to know themselves and their followers. They need to understand at the deepest level the values and vision held by themselves as well as others.
Leaders build trust by being trustworthy and promoting the same virtue in all people. Communication, collaboration, and community all flow from trust.
Leaders show a high concern for both people and productivity; relationships and results matter.
Leaders hold to a constant and noble focus, such as our quest for student learning as a North Star compassing point for decisions and work. However, leaders also know each situation and have the skill and courage to vary behaviors accordingly.
Leaders concentrate their time and energy on those things that will make a positive difference.
Thank you for being a leader. In all, we appreciate everyone’s service on behalf of our purpose of student learning!
Editorial: This entry was written by Nick Brossoit, Superintendent of the Edmonds School District. It seems to capture the vision and intent of the blog.
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In Nick's first public speech to the assembled employees, he indicated that change was coming. There was no definition to this "change" for us to make a reasoned evaluation. He then stated that if you weren't interested in change that perhaps you should think about doing something else.
Knowing of the recent tumult in other districts across the nation (San Diego, Philadelphia, and others) where "change" took the form of, first, long-time principals being bullied and then replaced with younger (and in some cases uncertified) principals and then teachers being bullied by the new principals until they left, this was not a good sign.
Also not a good sign when the drum beat of "If you don't like it here, go someplace else" started up in the buildings. This is not leadership by example, this is leadership by cudgel.
Shame on the administrators who allowed and encouraged it. And shame on us for not standing up to it.
"Communication, collaboration, and community, all flow from trust." True! And you have destroyed that thoroughly in many schools through principals without principles. You destroyed collaborations that wer working.You have cornering people, shouting at employees, threatening them with poor evaluations, entering classrooms and actually disrupting the learning environment by hassling the teacher, snubbing teachers when they approach you to seek answers to current problems or engage in education conversations, glowering, telling staff it is their job to please you (as opposed to the state's mandates to educate and protect students), encouraging favored staff members to stalk other staff members who are being targeted for terminination.
"We appreciate everyone's service on behalf of our purpose of student learning." This is truly hilarious considering that Nick was sitting in the public forum when a parent who's children had both gone to NHD State and one traveled to NHD Nationals ask the question, "What about programs for honors kids like National History Day?" Was Nick incensed that Houser proudly said, "We don't do NHD at Edmonds School District." Funny thing about that, around 150 eighth grade students did all of the basic skill-building and research that year. Odd that he could speak to what was going on in the classrooms of a district where he was no longer employed. Actually they don't do anything rich and compelling at ESD: debate, major research projects, community service, etc. have disappeared. Focus is on the "almost-their" WASL students. Too bad for the other 80%of the population.
Well at least I believe the last one. "Leaders also know each situation and have the skill and courage to vary behaviors accordingly." Boy have I seen that. Let's assign a teacher to teach one class at the other end of the hallway, then open their door before they arrive and let students into the room, unsupervised. Let's lecture a teacher on being late to school (when they actually walked into the building early with me and went to the copier room to make copies), let's take an accomplice with us to double team her, really intimidate her. How can she prove otherwise. Let's ignore benifits to other staff who come in late regularly, because they're our buddies. Let's overburden certain teachers with a half-a-dozen students who were earmarked to be separated during last period. That'll do it. I am amazed at the negative leadership in this district. When teachers report problems to Mr. Limon, you send them back to the situation with, "adjust your attitude and have a nice year."
These are examples of "verying behaviors accordingly".
I call "BS" on NICK!
Thanks Nick for your definition of a leader. Can we have one down at the Warehouse now please. I am tired of the bi-polar temper tantrum throwing Chuckles, "I am Supervisor" we have. AKA "The Porn King"
Supervisor 101 (Don't lie to your crew when you want to sneak out). I was going to say tell the truth, but that's not going to happen. Keep in mind that we have many honest friends that work in the district. You go nowhere without us knowing. In case you never develop a conscience, this is one of the reasons that most in the district hate you. Don't pretend that this is directed at someone else, or I will use your name next time.
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