Be Still…….And Listen. I may not be saying it in the same tone I might have used with one of our children when they were young and I was trying to impart some of my wisdom on them, and they felt the need to explain how they knew
better. But maybe the intent is the same. Just be calm and quiet and listen to the things going on around you. Be patient. Serve others. Put them first. Listen and learn from others. Sometimes moving forward happens when we slow down.
During my tenure as a school superintendent, we had an opening for a building-level administrator that needed to be filled. There was an individual within our organization that was interested in the position, and she came to talk
to me about it. At the time she had only a little administrative experience, but had helped us with some administrative duties when we were in a bind and had done so admirably. And honestly, was probably not compensated financially in
the way she should have been. But I was impressed with many of her qualities and felt at some point she would be able to fill that position very well. Just not yet.
Now, back to the title of the story. I’m not insinuating that administrators are “kings”. I don’t think administrators are any better than anyone else. I believe we all have a gift, a quality, or a trait that allows us to do certain things well. Each of us are a good fit for something that others are not. And there are people that are good at things we could not even attempt to do. I think I was a good administrator, but I would not have been a good kindergarten teacher. Both that teacher and I had an opportunity to positively affect the life of that child, just in
My primary goal was not to be a boss, build larger financial balances, or to win awards for new programs we implemented. My primary goal was to provide our employees with the resources they needed to help kids learn. My primary goal was to serve the employees of our organization in a way that would help them be more effective. A good leader is a servant leader. I need to carry the crown for others. I need to be humble. I need to put others first. Schools are about the kids and if we don’t put them and the people teaching them first, we are not helping them all reach their potential. And it’s that way in any business, or in life.
My conversation that day with our prospective administrator went fine, but she didn’t leave my office agreeing with me. She thought she was ready, but I thought giving her the position would be setting her up for failure. It wasn’t
because of her lack of credentials and it wasn’t because of her work ethic. Those were great. There were some difficult situations she would be stepping into and I wanted her to be ready for those. I wanted her take some time, be still, listen, and serve so that she could see the real reason a person should want to become an administrator. To help others. I knew she would at some point if she would just hang in there. And she did.
To be a good administrator, or a good leader in any situation, we need to serve others. We need to be still, and listen. We need to have patience. So I guess I should go back and change the title to “You have to carry the crown.” Period. Not first and not just for awhile, but always.