I was reading facebook posts this past week for a principal group. I quickly realized many of the posts were about the job of principal and how it is very much a “thankless” job. I also realized this is true of almost any leadership position.
Leaders, or at least good ones, have to work at feeling the pulse of the organization. When morale seems to be low, the leader must find ways to lift it. Leaders must make efforts to show their employees how much they appreciate them. Leaders, many times, are on the receiving end of complaints from everyone in the organization and those outside of the organization. Principals listen to upset parents, upset students, upset teachers, and upset community members. District administrators listen to upset district leaders, upset principals, upset teachers, and upset community members. Despite all of the negativity, a good leader must continue to show up each day with a smile on their face as if life is great.
A former superintendent sent me an email one day that said, “All may not be right, but all is well.” Not only did that have an effect on me then, it continues to cross my mind when things get a bit tough now. As leaders, we must remember that most of our days will be challenging. Most of our days will be filled with solving others’ problems. Most of our days will include attempts to influence others to follow. Some of our days will be downright unbearable. However, in the end, all may not be right, but all will be well.
To all leaders, I say, keep your head up. If you are struggling to stay positive and keep moving your organization forward, know that you are there for a purpose. If you truly believe you are where you are to make a difference in children’s lives… keep moving and keep smiling.
Paula Patterson is a Superintendent of Schools who shares practical points on leadership.