Leaders Tell The Truth and Study (pages 78-85)
Updated: Mar 23, 2020
Part One: Leadership Strategies, 1. Foundations, K. Leaders Tell The Truth, L. Study (pages 78-85)
H. Leaders Tell The Truth
Leaders must consistently tell the truth, especially to themselves. However, when telling the truth, it should be done thoughtfully. Telling the truth when the message is positive is the easy part. Telling the truth when the message is negative can be difficult, but necessary. The author states the key is to know your people and communicate often. “There should be consistent, well-established relationships with troops, so they know and understand the leader and the leader knows and understands the troops”. Communication needs to happen often using a wide variety of resources including meetings, phone calls. Emails, and text messages.” By creating healthy relationships, telling the truth, as bad as it might be will be easier. Lastly, if the truth is not provided, rumors will start. “Kill rumors by telling the truth”.
I feel there are at least five core traits that great leaders must possess. The first of which is integrity. Leaders must do what they say and say what they do. Embedded within that is always telling the truth. It takes a mountain of truths to build trust and only one lie to erode it. By consistently telling the truth, the leader not only is displaying integrity but also creating/strengthening healthy relationships. I do find issues with utilizing emails and texts for communication. In my opinion, emails and texts are efficient methods for delivering information. However, when depending on them for communication with a back and forth exchange of information, they can be abused. In my experience, I have heard on more than one occasion these excuses “I didn’t get that email, or I didn’t see your text”. Those excuses cannot be used when meeting or during a phone call. So, if there is a need for exchanging information, do not depend on just email or text messages. If you want to ensure the communication is effective, pick up the phone, connect via video chat, or go and see the person.
“Leaders are never good enough”. The author gets your immediate attention with that bold statement. Leadership is a profession. As such, professionals need to always be improving their craft. As you lead and improve, your responsibilities will undoubtedly increase which will provide new and unique challenges. To meet these challenges, the leader cannot remain stagnant, they must intentionally improve their leadership skills. A method for improving is to attempt to see everything through the lens of leadership. Leadership occurs in many instances throughout the day and paying attention to how the leader was successful or unsuccessful can be useful knowledge. Additionally, when reading, try to focus on the leaders and their actions. Then, incorporate these thoughts into your leadership repertoire. Lastly, don’t be arrogant. “Stay humble, and always learn.”
“Never arrive”. It’s a statement a leadership mentor of mine speaks to frequently. Too often, it is easy to fall into a false sense of security once you have achieved a job position. I have witnessed teachers that have worked in the classroom for over 30 years, but in reality, they only have 1 year of experience. They never grew. That can also be said for administrators, who once they obtain their desired position, start to coast into retirement. We must constantly learn and improve our craft, especially in the field of education, what message does it send to our students, when we expect them to learn when we are not?