Friday, July 15, 2011
A Happy Post: Effective Leadership
Good Morning all!
8:31 am edt
Before I introduce you to Captain Effective Leader, I want you to know that I have worked
for effective leaders. I didn't know these men (yes, men- both- for me) were effective until I had a different
experience. Effective leadership, for me, means a simple "thank you, Kim" when I do good work.
Effective leadership, for me, means allowing me to create cool stuff. My Captain Effective Leaders always, in
every instance supported me with words and actions. Both appreciated my efforts to authentically contribute to
our schools. One supported with a quiet and thoughtful demeanor. "That's a great idea, Kim. Sounds
like extra work. Ready to take that on?" The other with a blast of energy, confidence and enthusiasm. "Great!
I love it! Go for it!" And I did. I would. For I am that kind of person. I do create.
I do participate. I am enthusiastic.
Effective leadership. Now, I know there are many parts.
There are test scores and budgets. There are meetings and conferences. There are people to impress! There
are bosses of bosses of bosses who need to see (at least on paper!) that a school leader is doing his job.....at least
on paper. And then there are children and parents, teachers and custodians, counselors and bus drivers, cafeteria workers
and secretaries. Listen, I did not know I was working for "Captain Effective Leaders." I just liked them
both. I just worked really hard. Without really thinking about it, I knew my work, and even more importantly, that
I was appreciated. Man oh man, now I totally understand how good they were! I have since had ,as
you know, a-shall we say?-"contrasting" experience!
Next up-some of my experiences with "Mr. Bully
Boss." THEN-and I promise!- you'll meet Captain Effective Leader.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Still Serious. Next Up: Meet Mr. Bully Boss and Captain Effective Leader!
10:38 am edt
I last wrote of courage. Let me tell you now what stepping up and telling the truth did for me. It
liberated me! Yes. Truly, I saw myself at the edge of a cliff--arms spread wide, looking back at sneers
and scowls, suspicion, manipulation. Bad stuff. Intimidating stuff. The kind of stuff
that sucks away creativity. Joy really. And I took the leap. Didn't know what would happen. Didn't know what
was next. Just did it.
I honestly get, clearly now, how people fold. How the "you are lucky
to have a job" mantra gets to people. How it feels easier- safer somehow -to just do what most others, not all,
are doing. How, once we fold, we are, as a friend in whom I confided said, "in bed with them." I
make no judgements here. It is crazy hard.
So, are you like me, simply a person who wants to contribute?
Simply a person who has ideas to share? Simply an imperfect person working hard at doing right things? It's really
not complicated. We need not make it so.
Next up we are going to have some fun! I will introduce you
to two friends of mine--Mr Bully Boss (yes, I claim him as a friend in my liberation!) and Captain Effective Leader. Captain
Effective Leaders are out there. They deserve to be celebrated!
Sunday, July 10, 2011
It Takes Courage
12:54 pm edt
Hey there everyone! I recently wrote this for "World Pulse". My pulse is strong!
How about yours?
Mine is a pivotal- happened in a flash, I will not allow you to treat me this way any longer-
life altering moment. I know if I had taken what seemed the easy way, the non-confrontational way, the “just do what
he says and you will be ok” way, I would have been one of the frightened sycophants on whom my bullying boss, could
count to do his dirty work. Still, it was a temptation. Fill in the form, even if it weren’t true! Turn the
blind eye! Be done with it! Lie! My mind screamed “just do it!” and yet the words from my mouth were these: “No.
I will not do it.”
In the early afternoon of March 16th, 2010, I, a school counselor, stated
I would not lie for a man, a school principal, who had bullied me for two years. My consciousness of his bullying grew
from head scratching perplexities at his disrespectful arrogance-his disdainful reference, for instance, to me and other women
as “honey”- to outright alarm at his “in your face” screaming.
March 16th, 2010.
Early afternoon. It was an over the top crazy stressful moment. It was a moment of jaw dropping realization on his part that
I truly was not a “team player”: that his coercion of me, as he suspected, would not work. He understood with
my simple words, “I will not do it” that I was outside his control. I still see him standing up from his desk.
Still see him leaning forward. I still hear him screaming, “JUST DO IT!!” Slow motion. Me-steely inside in that
moment, and then alone in my office-crumbling. It was not easy.
It's still not easy. Although I had taken
to wearing a button stating “It Takes Courage“ at school (ostensibly for my students!) I did not yet know
of my own courage. March 16th, 2010. Apprehension turned to resolve. Fear to conviction. Just six words. A life-mine-altered
in that moment.