Tony Sinanis recently blogged about his big “three” as an admin and challenged me to write about what I think might be my big three. While I completely agree with his three: “be the ears, be the voice, and be the culture”, it would be redundant to say mine are the same.
Instead I’ll share three gems of greatness that I think compliment his nicely. (Such a team player, aren’t I?)
1. You don’t always to be right.
As an administrator, it is crucial to be able to see the value in losing the battle, but winning the war. It doesn’t do anyone any good to win every argument if you alienate or isolate the people you work with while doing so. When meeting with teachers or parents, there is something to be said for allowing other’s viewpoints to be given weight and be heard. Someone who can communicate You can be the right-est person in the world and yet have no one on your side, which would a rather ineffective leader, wouldn’t it? Employ your inner empathy skills here. What distinguishes average to mediocre leaders from those who excel at leading others is how the latter group understands that their focus shouldn’t be simply directed to whether goals are achieved or not. Nobody wants to be on the same team with someone who has to win every argument, never giving any credence to other’s points of views.
2. You don’t always have to make everyone happy.
In fact, thinking that you CAN make everyone happy would be a mistake. No matter what idea you have or what positive motivation you have fueling your movements…someone will not agree. This has easily been the most challenging part of being an administrator for me. If decisions are made on what is best for kids, how could someone disagree with you? It’s easy to forget that people view decisions or actions through the same lens they view the world in. Never take it personal when someone disagrees with you! Use it as an opportunity to get to understand that other person and find out what lens they are using. Really listen to what they have to say…and at the end of the day, even if they still disagree with you, at least they can respect the fact that you gave them a chance to discuss their point of view. It’s also so important to have relationships with your team, so that they know what your vision is. You can disagree with how I might go about accomplishing something, but if you know my heart is always making decisions based on whats best for kids, then I am ok with you being unhappy.
3. You don’t always have to be in charge.
Delegation is a lost art. I don’t know if some leaders don’t like to delegate because they don’t trust the people they work with, because they are controlling, or if they truly don’t understand what empowered leadership looks like. I had a teacher I worked with who was an incredible event planner. She rallied teachers behind her, had terrific connections in the community, and was a natural at the detail oriented focus required to pull off a big school event. Early on I was intimidated by the fact that she was such a natural, but I learned how much easier it was to let her run with her passion, because at the end of the day, she was going to make it happen, and make it awesome. And wasn’t that what I wanted? It allowed me to step back and focus on other pressing matters…as soon as I relaxed and appreciated her strengths. Know your team and know their strengths. Maximize those strengths to benefit your campus! It really will make a difference when your whole team is invested in your campus vision.
What did we leave out? Can you elaborate or add? I would love to know what your big three would be!