Leadership

Leadership is tricky.  Good leaders know when to empower the people they lead, but also know when a decision must be made and make it.  Larry Roth was excellent at this.  He was the first principal at Russell Middle School in Omaha, Nebraska.  He was great at using the word “parameters” when making decisions.  He would throw out a problem that needed to be solved but let you know what he was willing or needed do.  If teams needed to be changed, he would explain his reasons and then give parameters.  This allowed teachers a voice while knowing the restrictions.

Leadership is also about having a vision – moving the group forward even when a group has dug in its heels.  I worked in a school that was living in their past performances.  But population changes and economic changes was taking a tool on their success because they won’t change their teaching.  Within five years, the school went through four principals.  Finally a principal came in and shared the vision and the steps it would take be successful.  It took a lot of meetings and discussions.  And getting rid of some dead weight.

Finally, leadership is about positive communication.  Even when things are bad, leaders must let everyone know that everything is going to be ok.

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