Everything is Good (But Not That Good) and Using Leadership to Teach and Build, pages 207-215
Part Two: Leadership Tactics, 2. Leadership Skills, I. Everything is Good (But Not That Good), (pages 207-208)
Part Two: Leadership Tactics, 3. Maneuvers, A. U, (pages 209-215)
I. Everything is Good (But Not That Good)
“No matter what goes wrong, there is always some good to find in the setback.” A negative attitude can easily spread throughout your team, just as fast as a positive one. So, the leader must maintain a positive attitude. However, a leader must have a realistic outlook. If the leader only ever sees and conveys to the team positivity, they can come across as out of touch with reality. “So a leader has to temper positivity with realism.” Admitting the mistake or negative outcome and then looking at how to improve is the best method. A measured response that acknowledges the negatives while still searching for positives best connects with the team. “Be positive, but be realistic.”
A saying I use with my leadership team is “you can be crying on the inside, but you better be smiling on the outside.” A leader’s temperament will directly affect the climate and eventually the culture of the team. So, a positive attitude is essential for a healthy team. Showing emotions, as long as they are held in check, let the team know that you are engaged, controlled, and dedicated to them. Not showing any emotion can have the opposite effect. In a previous experience, my leader never showed emotion. He never got mad or showed great joy. He was flat emotionally. This attribute was viewed as positive by most in the district because his non-engagement allowed most to just “go about their business”. It did lead to a leadership void. The district had no vision of what they stood for and believed in. I was advised by a colleague to lead up. I attempted that but it had little impact. It appeared the lack of emotion was part of his personality and no intervention I was aware of could change that.
A. Using Leadership to Teach and Build, I – Fixing a Negative Attitude
“When a person is placed in a leadership position, their perspective changes, and the new perspective often reveals to them the error of their ways. Leadership is a cure for an extensive assortment of problems”. When a leader encounters a team member with poor performance or attitude, the capacity to put them in a leadership position can solve many issues. However, the caveat is that the team member needs to possess the underlying skills beforehand.
I have unfortunately encountered more than one person with a bad attitude in the field of education. Some of these occasions were when I was in leadership positions. While I did address the poor attitudes, I never put any in a leadership position. I did this for two reasons. First, they did not appear to possess any leadership traits. Second, what message was I sending to the rest of the team by basically promoting a person with a bad attitude? I was not willing to take that risk.