Lessons in Leadership: 4 superintendents share the biggest surprises about their roles
Roger Riddell@EdDiveRoger Nov. 13, 2018
Navigating politics and learning to let go of past responsibilities were among the most unexpected aspects of their positions
Richard Carranza — Chancellor, New York City Department of Education
I’ve been principal in two different schools in two different states, so my heart’s really in the classroom, in the schools themselves. But it’s important that if anybody’s going to become a superintendent, you realize that you also have a good array of political issues that you’re going to have to deal with, [from] elected officials [and] individuals that are not elected but have considerable political clout and could affect the initiatives or agenda that you have.
Suzanne Lacey — Superintendent, Talladega County Schools
a thing I struggled with the most was just letting go of the jobs that I had done before.
Glenn Robbins — Superintendent, Tabernacle Township School District
“No one ever made a difference by being like everyone else.” An organization is either run by visionaries or operators. Which are you?
Leadership is a privilege. Serve others each day with a positive attitude. How strong are your relationships with not only your board of education and administrative team, but also the teachers association? Relationships and communication are first. Everything else comes second.
Stay true to the district’s goals and values. Remember to embrace the infinite game, and not chase the external finite game. Focus within, not external. Coach, mentor, support and challenge. Be the leader that creates more leaders, not produces more soldiers.
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