The Thing about Influence

Speed-limit signs are not suggestions. Of course, there are still people who drive much faster or slower than posted speeds.

On the other hand, conversations with family members and friends about road conditions are suggestions. They are rarely about control. For example, when we drive to a family member's house we would most likely caution them about any dangerous road conditions we encountered. And more often than not, this advice is met with heartfelt thanks.

The relationships, connection, and genuine care we have for others is more of an influence than a speed limit sign (or email) could ever hope to be.

And so it is with leadership.

If this blog post resonated, you might like my newest book, Reclaiming Our Calling: Hold on to the Heart, Mind, and Hope of Education. The book tackles a tension many educators are feeling using a combination of stories and practical strategies. If you’re interested in technology integration, Renegade Leadership: Creating Innovative Schools for Digital-Age Students is a best-seller with Corwin Press. Both books are built on the belief that everything we do in education starts with relationships and connectedness.

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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. 


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