Back to School

The first day of school has arrived here in Texas bringing out school buses loaded full of excited kids, plenty of small children being taken to school by their teary-eyed parents for the first time in their short lives, and masses of educators holding their breath waiting to see what their school year is going to be like. Will they have a class filled with children who are excited and eager to learn? Or will there be one too many of “those kids” (and their parents) who make being a teacher seem like a truly thankless profession? Only time will tell.

As leaders we face the same challenges and have many of the same questions. Who is going to be brought onto our team? Will they be a positive addition or our newest problem child? What can we do to ensure that we shape positive behaviors and build camaraderie instead of allowing poor examples to drag the group down? Well, the answer can be found by remembering that being a highly effective leader is very similar to being a great parent or teacher.

Monday Morning Perspective:
“Don’t demand respect as a parent. Demand civility and insist on honesty. But respect is something you must earn, with kids as well as with adults.” William Attwood

“If you want children to keep their feet on the ground, put some responsibility on their shoulders.” Abigail Van Buren

Simple Steps to Success

1. Never forget that you are in charge. You set the tone and predetermine the environment. Make it a positive one that encourages healthy development and growth.

2. You get to choose who and what influence your team. If you don’t like it, challenge it or change it. Remove the bad influence and keep your team on track. Just like I’ve chosen to privately educate my children, I also am very choosy about the people I bring onto my staff. After all, the sayings you’ve heard such as “birds of a feather flock together” and “iron sharpens iron- so one person sharpens another” are repeated because they are so very true. Trust me when I say that you will not be the exception to these rules!

3. Give them room to grow. Just like giving your children chores and rewarding them for a job well done, you can empower your subordinates to achieve the unthinkable by merely letting them try. Teach them, respect them, and get the heck out of the way! The greatest joy for a parent or teacher is watching their kids do great things. The same is true of great leaders.

ISSN: 2158-1355
© Crystal Dyer 2010. All Rights Reserved.
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