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Leadership is a Team Sport

August 19, 2010
This is the time of year when I think a lot about my role in the organization.  The school-year is getting underway, the plans have been set, the goals are established and now we have the challenge of making it all work!  It takes a combination of leadership skills, management skills, and some luck.

This is also the time of year that I feel the pressure that exists in public education and Saline Area Schools.  I have been placed into this trusted position of leadership in this important field of work – preparing our next generation for their future.  That sense of pressure can translate into both positive and negative energy.  Noted Stanford University professor, Robert Sutton recently stated, “People who gain authority over others tend to become more self-centered and less mindful of what others need, do and say.”  Well, I think he is right….  So, as I begin the year I am focused on steps that will help me listen and support our staff.

Here are some the things I am planning for the 2010-11 school year to help me focus my energy:

Periodically take on other roles within the district. This year I will ride a bus, answer the phones at the front desk, teach a lesson, and serve lunches.

Seek feedback and take action. I will be looking for creative ways to obtain input and reflect on what I learn.

Develop accountable relationships. I will work with colleagues who can serve as a sounding board for my ideas.

Recognize the contributions of others. I cannot accomplish anything of value without the contribution and support of the staff and community.

Leadership is a team sport. I need to let others in the organization lead.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Kelly Saiya-Cork permalink
    August 28, 2010 6:00 pm

    Welcome back Mr. Graden. We are very glad to be back to school this year and working hard to teach our children in a safe environment.

    The district certainly has been very busy. You have a list of focussed goals.

    Perhaps you can update us on accomplishments over the summer on providing our students with a safer environment than last year? Has the district come up with improved student to staff ratios on our playgrounds? Has the district come up with more time for the children to go outside in an effort to improve playground safety?

    The community is very interested in learning the improvements to playground supervision.

  2. August 29, 2010 2:49 pm

    Safety on the playgrounds is being stressed at the beginning of the school year to our staff in all the buildings. Adjustments were made to the ratios on the playgrounds, most notably at Heritage to make sure it is the safest environment that we can provide.

    In addition, we have added extra “walkie-talkie” units to aid communication and have worked on the positioning of staff to make sure we have proper supervision on all of our playgrounds.

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