Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Which direction on the ladder?

I had just returned from vacation, and saw a new face in our building. Our paths crossed, introductions first, how long have you been here? It is not often that as an adult, your first conversation with someone new is not more than a sizing up, a dance of egos. This one was different, I could tell.

Ah, he said, I’ve been in this building in a caretaker role for just 3 weeks, previous to that I had a front office, and wore dress pants. 30 years of wearing a suit and tie, 10 years as the man in charge, he chuckled, I thought I’d try something new! He raised his worn running shoe towards me. I’m intrigued at this point.

I’ve learned more about people in three weeks doing this job than I did in the last 10 years. When you’re the boss, your jokes are hilarious, your tie is perfect, you get applauded even when you don’t deserve it. I did my best to instill a climate of community growth, but there were always people who thought they needed to be deceptive and impress me.

Now I know that the people who are nice to me, are truly respectful people, because today I get to pass on the lessons I’ve learned and clear their trash!

I met this man almost 20 years ago and our short conversation still echoes in my mind. The hallways of learning taught me something valuable that day.

Not all principals are leaders, but all leaders have principles.

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