I think most of us are looking for the new superintendent to be the system's "savior" during this period of deep change. Who ever ends up on the throne at what has pejoratively become known as "The Palace," they will need to make the most of the momentum they'll have this year. Even if we end up with an extraordinary leader, I wonder if our communities are going to be part of the positive change or part of the regressive problem.
As we enter into this most critical four months for our public system, and on the eve of the announcement of a new superintendent, I would like to share with the community the following blog entry that was shared with me by the principal of Seqouyah MS, Ms. Brittany Cunningham.
I think it captures some very cogent points for us all to keep in mind as we engage in our efforts to help the new superintendent and Board of Education position our system for a brighter future. I encourage everyone to question every assumption about the past and every convention that we have clung to and consider them anew. If we do not do this, we are risking being part of the problem rather than the solutions we'll need.
Reprinted article from: http://leadershipfreak.wordpress.com/2011/03/15/four-things-to-stop-in-order-to-fuel-momentum/
Four things to stop in order to fuel momentum
By Dan Rockwell
Photo by: Greg Newington
Stalling and stagnation are normal; persistent progress and forward momentum exceptional. Stop pretending, complaining, avoiding, and limiting in order to fuel progress.
Stop pretending you want change when in reality you want comfort. Usually comfort and change run contrary to each other. Backward facing leadership takes less effort, less courage, and less creativity.
General Shinseki wisely observed, “If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less.”
Your best option is growing comfortable with constant change.
Complaining is comfortable self-confirmation. In the short-term it’s fun and provides the façade of power. Complaining is joyfully easy. Change is deceptively difficult; easy to talk but hard to do.
Creating is courageous disruption and dangerous self-expression. Occasionally, complaining may instigate change but it won’t sustain it.
Forward facing leaders always encounter conflict, resistance, arm chair quarterbacks, disagreement, fear of failure, and more. These are powerful reasons that some use to avoid pressing into the future.
In addition, forward movement and uncomfortable conversations go hand in hand. You cannot and should not avoid them.
Conflict, resistance, and the rest can’t validate or justify your direction. However, they are evidence of movement. Face, embrace, and learn from them.
Complex problems have more than one solution.
Perfecting solutions is a fault-finding process. You bombard an option with imagined scenarios and anticipated problems looking for faults. There’s value in the process but it won’t create a perfect response to high-potential opportunities. There’s more than one.
Analyze, investigate, evaluate; then pick one solution and perfect it as you go. Searching for one perfect solution before pulling the trigger slows progress and drains momentum.
Momentum requires courage, focus and fuel or it cools. Which of these things can you stop today in order to keep moving forward?