Sunday, March 25, 2012

School Leaders: who do you listen to?

Recently, I read a blog from Pete Wilson (@pwilson), a speaker, author, and blogger ( It was his January 24, 2012 post entitled, "Voices in my Head." I thought it was very comparable to what school leaders go through each and every day. Therefore, I have catered the blog to fit what we, educators, face and to inspire us all to be secure with our own professional and personal convictions as we lead ourselves and others. Like everyone else I go through seasons where I doubt myself and my effectiveness. When you lead others in a public setting you constantly have people in your ear saying things like… I wish you made decisions more like this… I wish you treated students like this…. I wish you led like…. I wish you dealt with parents more like... I wish you interacted like this… I wish you disciplined students like this… It’s easy to start to doubt and wonder if you should be more this or that. I, all too often, will see school leaders like Eric Sheninger (@NMHS_Principal) and think "if only I was as tech savvy." Or, I may see school leaders in my own School District of Williamson County ( and think... "Wow! They sure have their act together. They are seem to be so like by their faculty, parents, students and overall community. How do they do it?" I say all of this not to invoke some kind of sympathy. I’m just letting you know what goes on in my head because I bet these things go on in your head as well. I bet these voices get really loud in you from time to time. While I won’t argue that lack of character has brought down more good leaders than just about anything, I would say insecurity runs a very close second. Insecurity can torment the most gifted of leaders. It will make you… doubt instead of trust criticize instead of praise assume the worst instead of the best talk instead of listen micromanage instead of empower control instead of release In the end it will erode your effectiveness and leave you useless and powerless. Your worst nightmare will become a reality as you look around to discover that, no longer, is anyone following you. Be yourself. Live your giftedness. Listen to the only voice that really matters and tell those other voices to shut up. What does your insecurity look like when it raises its ugly head?

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