Friday, October 14, 2016

The Uncomfortable Truth About Leadership Failure (B)

A continuation of the discussion from yesterday.

It is leadership that is positioned to see the “big picture.” It is leadership that controls resources. It is leadership that oversees the system. It is leadership that leads. 

When all, or even some, of the critical components of instructional infrastructure are not provided in a district or on a campus, it could be that leadership is either unaware of the need of the component(s), the value of the component(s), or the availability of the component(s).  Not knowing is a form of ignorance, harsh, but correctable.

On the other hand, if leadership is aware of the need, value and/or availability of the critical components of instructional infrastructure and does not provide them for teachers, then the fairest assumption is that some fear is preventing leadership from acting. Not some seemingly valid internal or external constraint, but the fear of addressing the constraint.

In the case where all of the critical components of instructional infrastructure are available to the district or campus, and one or more of those components are not being implemented at scale, with fidelity; this represents either leadership fear or failure.  It could be fear: fear of addressing teacher concerns or pushback; fear of dealing with vocal fringe elements in the community; fear of answering Board questions.  Fear is real, but as a veteran principal explained to rookie principals, “You have to face your fear, that’s why you get paid the medium sized bucks.” 

When ignorance and fear have been ruled out, and the implementation of critical infrastructure is not occurring at scale, all that remains is leadership failure. Because, bottom line, if leadership is not in charge of the system, who is?

Think. Work. Achieve.
Your turn...
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