As a leader, do you have to be liked as a person to do good work?

I was reading an old post from @justintarte on legacy.  I totally agree with his post that people want to know what other people think of them.  “what others think should not be the driving force behind what we say and do; it’s merely a piece of the whole puzzle.”  Is leadership in schools about what others think?  From my personal experiences it even though we know a good leader is not there to make friends or have people think wonderful things, it is about positive change.  Is it possible to be a good leader and not have people like you?  I believe it is.  

I heard a story recently from a school board member in another district who said that when they were going through the selection process for a new superintendent they went to the candidate’s school to interview his current staff members.  Now, this is the part of the story that takes a turn that I was not expecting.  The candidate took the board members who were there to interview staff member and all his staff members into the library.  He separated his staff members in two groups.  On one-half of the room where the staff members that loved him and thought he was the kindest most caring person and on the other half of the room was a group of staff members who did not care for him very much as a person.  But the entire group unanimously thought he was a fantastic principal and the perfect choice for what is best for kids.

There is a story where people can dislike you as a person but can respect you professionally and think that you do excellent work.  Why do people feel like they need to please everyone and be everyone’s friend to do good work?  I know that this did not have much to do about legacy, but for the superintendent candidate in the story, I believe that he was successful in leaving a legacy at his school he left.  Oh yeah, he got the superintendent job by the way.  I am sure that through his actions he will spawn more leaders.

Life of an Educator by Justin Tarte: Leave a legacy…

What will your legacy be? For what will you be remembered?
Will your legacy be a legacy of treating others respectfully, fairly and individually?
Will your legacy be a legacy of trust and tolerance to the needs of others?
Will your legacy be a legacy of shared, collective and collaborative approaches toward improvement?
Will your legacy be a legacy of sincerity, selflessness and reliability?
Will your legacy be a legacy of humility and acceptance of failure as a means toward growth?
Will your legacy be a legacy of flexibility, enthusiasm and energy?
Will your legacy be a legacy of courage, strength and vision toward shared aspirations?
Will your legacy be a legacy of helping and serving others so they can achieve their goals?

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: