Monday Moanin Thoughts #160 When Times Are Tough, Leaders Don’t Hide

Happy first Monday Moanin  of June 2015 to everyone.  June signals many things in education. Across the state of Michigan thousands of students are graduating and schools are successfully bringing their year to a close. June is also the time where Michigan school districts are dealing with the realities of a poor funding system and the ramifications of being a right to work state. As a result, this week could be when individuals find out their fate. Some will be laid off, or reassigned,  some involuntarily transferred, and still others will have their program eliminated.  Coupled with a challenging evaluation system, and pay and step freezes it can be difficult to find the good stuff. During the past week, I met with several principals and school leaders who shared concerns wondering how to act or lead during this challenging time  of year. Many speculated it may be a good time for them to limit their visibility and accessibility as they worried about what to say to those who have received bad news.  They wondered how to remain hopeful leaders without being disrespectful and hurtful to those who have suffered losses.

One thing is certain, there are no easy answers during this difficult time. However, I would emphasize and remind you that Leaders Don’t Hide!  It is critical to fight the invitation to disappear. When your organization is hurting it is important to be hopeful and I believe you can do this without acting pollyanna. You can be respectful without cheerleading. You can be supportive without trying to fix things for people. You can be a listener and fight the urge to be a nervous over-talker. You need to be present in order to be compassionate. Remember, in 99% of the above issues, most building leaders have had little or no control over the decisions that have been made. The bottom line is this – You need to be present and continue to be learner centered.  You don’t need to fix things for people.  You just need to show you care.

Don’t Hide!

Quote of the week:

“Feed the people around you today with encouragement, recognition, security and hope.” John Maxwell


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