One Thing Weak Leaders Do Differently

September 12, 2017

 

This is my 10th year serving as an elementary principal, and I learn something new every single day. Sometimes I learn through my own mistakes, and other times I learn by listening, observing, or connecting with others.

 

Recently, I sat down with Jimmy Casas as part of the UnearthED Podcast. I think I learned more about leadership during our 10 minute conversation than I have the past month.

 

Jimmy is a Senior Fellow at ICLE and well-respected leadership coach, so it's no surprise that he knows his stuff. However, hearing Jimmy share the what, why, and how to lean into difficult conversations was personally convicting. His sharing was pragmatic and actionable.

 

After experiencing the conversation during our live-recording, and then going back to listen for a second time, a few things continue to stick out to me. The three thoughts below are applicable to everyone in education. However, I think the third thing truly separates weak leaders from everyone else.

 

  • Leaders (e.g students, principals, teachers) lean into challenging issues because they have the integrity and courage to do so. They don't wait for somebody with a formal leadership title to do what needs to be done.

 

  • Sugar-coating the "elephant in the room" doesn't necessarily move things forward. Students are counting on us to talk about tough issues with candor.

 

  • Weak leaders prioritize preserving a relationship over talking about the "elephant in the room." Jimmy made it clear that we can be both relational AND address challenging issues.

 

The theme of dealing with the elephant in the room is something that applies to all educators. I hope you'll take 10 minutes to listen and invest in your own leadership.

 

Click HERE to listen to the podcast.

 

We'd love to hear your thoughts and "stake in the ground" in the comments section below.

 

As always, thanks for listening!

 

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Dr. Brad Gustafson is an elementary principal, author, and speaker. He believes schools can be spaces where creativity and innovation thrive, but only when we prioritize relationships and a relevant, connected pedagogy. 

 

Connect on email at:

AdjustingCourse@gmail.com

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