Monday, February 13, 2012

Leadership Means Recognizing Those Who Make You Look Good

"Behind every woman scorned is a man who made her that way." -- Miranda Lambert

I am an avid music listener, and I do love country music.  I heard that song (Baggage Claim) over the weekend, and I had to chuckle.  It rattled around in my brain, and started to ring a bit true in a broader sense -- morale being on a clear downswing these days.

I would put forth the following:

Behind every disillusioned professional with low morale is a leader who did not recognize his or her contribution.

I previously posted about the power of gratitude.  Unfortunately, the inverse is equally powerful.  Not being recognized for professional accomplishments by the people who "matter" can take its toll over time.  I am a true believer in Angela Maiers and the philosophy of "You Matter", but in the current climate where teachers are often portrayed as less than professionals in the media and arenas outside of education, recognition from within becomes doubly important to continue to inspire teachers to go the "extra mile".  It's hard to keep going when your emotional tank is on empty.

Any undertaking that involves more than one person to accomplish, deserves to be followed by the positive recognition of all who helped make it possible.  Any leader who comes out smelling like a rose, owes that heavenly fragrance, at least in part, to any number of people, and a good leader spreads the accolades -- "pays it backward" for lack of a better phrase.

My challenge to you:

As an educational leader, look around at the people who help make you look good.  Actively recognize that not one of us can do it alone.

Let me know how it goes.

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