This post inspired by a quote taken from my Superintendent at a meeting earlier today –
Educational leadership is a unique challenge. The education system does not fit the traditional business model where increased performance in and of itself leads to a tangible benefit for the employee. In business successful performance by an employee generally leads to financial benefit and organizational power. The system may be set-up in a manner where increased performance has a causal impact on earnings (commission) or in a manner which increased performance has a correlative impact on earnings (promotion, stock options, etc.). Either way – the better the employee performs the more rewards they reap.
In education this is not the case. In many instances, the better a teacher performs the more auxiliary duties they may be assigned. Some may perceive this as the better they perform the more burden they must carry. This may be true -- when looking to start a new program or initiative leaders do not generally look at their average employees for support and to pilot a program . They save that distinction (and extra work) for their best and brightest.
There is simply no tangible, external motivator that exists in education. This is why being an educational leader is so challenging. As leaders, we are the outside stimulus that can lead to dramatic change. We are the ‘lever’ that can lead to increased personal awareness and effectiveness. We are able to provide the tools necessary to help people reach their capacity. Our challenge is immense, but so is our potential impact. Lead change starting today!!