Had a great convo at lunch today with two different staff members. We each have different roles on the campus and varies experiences. One a former high school teacher, one a former 1st grade teacher and me…
We were discussing our next school event and the inadvertent commotion it has caused. In May, we’re planning a “prom” as our school wide occasion. It was requested by one of our fabulous 5th graders last year, and has just been in the books since
then. The “planning” books…it hasn’t been officially announced to students or parents yet.
There have been several concerns, which we were going
over at lunch and my two table mates were going back and forth over the pros and cons. Regardless of what one said, the other had a brilliant counter point. Sitting there listening, it was clearly going to be another situation in life where I wasn’t going to win.
If we just canceled the event…people were going be upset. If we held it, renamed it, re-themed it…people were going to be upset. One lunch mate commented that she was glad she wasn’t ever in my position because it just went against her nature for people to not like her, where as I clearly made decisions that albeit unintentionally, divided people.
Now that I’ve been in this role, I have such empathy for people who have to make hard decisions. (Obviously, the prom isn’t a life impacting decision, but still…you know what I mean.) I look at Obama, or CEO’s, or superintendents and think about what tough decisions they have to make…and those ARE life impacting decisions. They have to stay true to themself and really look out for the greater good. In my lil’ol chair, it can still be tough.
You come back to the concept of leader likeability and there’s a great quote that comes to mind.
As long as the decisions I make are made in the best interest of our Lions, I can
handle the naysayers. (Some days better than others,
I’ve definitely learned that there are times where I don’t get to share my side or have my say and that just comes with the territory. Being a leader isn’t about being liked, it’s about doing what we have to do. Life isn’t always pretty and if we want to have a successful school, sometimes tough actions need to be taken. Leaders who have to be liked, rather than respected, lose credibility, confidence and support. I think I’d rather be respected and known as consistent, more than win a popularity contest.