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Jun 01, 2018 | Post by: Jack Altschuler No Comments

November 27, 1963 and Your Leadership

Reading time – 67 seconds (and worth it!); Viewing time – 2:38 .  .  .

When recognition is due, what does it look like in your shop?

Mark Rigby is the Assistant Principal for Operations at Niles West High School. It’s a large suburban Chicago school with an astonishing diversity among its student population. The folks charged with the welfare of these students, as at every school in America, are acutely aware of many threats that can shake the stuffing out of everyone. Still, these leaders carry on in the best tradition. Here’s a recent post from Mark, sent to the faculty and administrators at NWHS:

In the spirit of sharing, I ran across this memorandum from a Mr. C.J. Price, who was peripherally in charge of Parkland Memorial Hospital during the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and all the ensuing calamitous events that followed. He penned this beauty on 27 November 1963:

“What is it that enables an institution to take in stride such a series of history jolting events? Spirit? Dedication? Preparedness? Certainly, all of these things are important, but the underlying factor is people. People whose education and training are sound. People whose judgment is calm and perceptive. People whose actions are deliberate and definitive. Our pride is not that we were swept up by the whirlwind of tragic history, but that when we were, we were not found wanting.”

We in education have a tendency to fall back on “policy and procedure” when discussing events that take place. As Mr. Price says above, what really matters when the rubber meets the road and the balloon goes up and we are up against it, is you. I read this and thought of Niles West and wish each of you to know the importance of what you contribute each day. We are rarely found wanting, and our students are most fortunate.

I think Mark and Mr. Price are on to something: the critical factor is your people.

And you’re the leader, so it falls to you to give the high 5s, to validate them, to brag to your people about them, because what really matters when when the rubber meets the road and the balloon goes up and you are up against it is your people. Great leaders let their people know they believe in them. Read my white paper about The Core of Great Leadership and you’ll understand more fully how important your validation is to them.

Many thanks to Mark Rigby for allowing me to share his words.


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Copyright 2018 by Jack Altschuler and Fully Alive Leadership. All rights reserved. Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

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