We had the opportunity to hear from Anthony Mohammad today as a leadership team. (How very fortunate am I that we have these kinds of opportunities as a district?!) It was a great presentation on the four skills of a transformational leader.
I don’t know anyone who is a principal who wouldn’t want to be thought of a transformational leader…typically, same as our teachers, we WANT to do a good job. We show up, we work hard, we make strong decisions for our students and our staff. We listen, we support, we encourage. I would say the same things about our staff.
One of the pieces today that gave me pause was when we stopped down to parse out likeability versus trustworthiness. He cautioned against doing things that may make us liked, but that doesn’t necessarily translate into trustworthiness. As in confusing the two, in regards to what and how we made decisions. You can like someone you don’t trust, and you can 100% trust someone you don’t actually like. Don’t make decisions to be liked, if it compromises your trustworthiness.
I’m going to ASSUME you can also be liked and trustworthy…but those statements seriously gave me pause on the things I do for our staff…do I do them to be liked? Could that be sacrificing likeability OVER trustworthiness? If the intents are seen as less than genuine (tho as my 2 on the Enneagram will tell you, THEY ARE ALL GENUINE!) could that make me be seen as LESS trustworthy if so?
It made my head spin around for quite a bit. You can like me all day long, but if you don’t trust me, then can I be effective at impacting practice, pedagogy or instruction? If you don’t like me, would you want to commit 100% to be on our team, a team where I, by definition of position, am a cheerleading face for? Can you be open, and vulnerable and grow with someone you don’t LIKE?
At the end of the day, I hope that I can answer both. There’s a great line in “A League of Their Own” that says…both? Can’t we do both?” and that’s what I am going to go with. I am going to go with where my heart is…which is trying to accomplish both. Being consistent with a “best for kids” mentality, while supporting a love you where you ARE, but never allowing you to stay there for our team…trying to be trustworthy, but not unlikeable.
Are you a “both” kinda leader? Or do you think one is sacrifice-able for the other? Sidenote…do males struggle with this? I need to find a male principal, who is a 2…this would be a fascinating conversation to have!!