I recently met with two different schools. Both schools are in small towns where everyone knows everyone, the drag still exists, and high school sports is the end all and be all. I grew up in a small town like this, so visiting these two schools felt like home.
I met with the administration to discuss whether or not we could do business together. But the conversation in both instances became stories that I had to share.
Both schools over the past few years have been down on their luck. Their test scores were down, they weren’t competing at a very high level in UIL events, and their sports teams were struggling to win.
This losing spirit trickled through the community. It’s sad to think that depression could overtake a school and a community altogether, but that’s exactly what had happened.
The turning point for both schools was hiring quality leadership.
One school had a bad leader that couldn’t overcome his own negativity and had poor communication skills.
This led to multiple resignations all at once, including his, and the business manager who at the time of our visit was looking to hire 9 people. In a small town with limited resources, that is one tall order. He said it best, “there are several holes to fill.”
The other school hired a good leader about two years ago and is now reaping the rewards because of her leadership qualities.
When she arrived people were surprised that she would bring her family into such a place. The townspeople and students often referred to themselves as “oil field trash” and had convinced themselves there was no escape and they were doomed to be losers the rest of their lives. No joke, the town was going downhill in a hurry.
But, the good leader helped turn things around within a couple of years. Test scores are now better than ever, students are strong competitors in UIL events, and their sports teams are winning. Everyone is much happier.
This leader had specific qualities that not only deserve recognition but should be duplicated by everyone. In fact, they WERE duplicated by the people in this town, and it has changed their world.
A Great Listener
She listens to everyone in the community from the local preacher to the golf club house cook.
A Can-Do Person With a Winning Attitude
The teachers she leads had this perception that they weren’t very good and mediocrity was ok. This didn’t settle well with her and she individually coached them in order to lift their spirits. It’s working because the teachers are great leaders themselves, they just have to understand how important they are.
An Excellent Communicator
The day she stepped into a leadership role the expectations of the school and community changed. It was no longer acceptable to whine, gossip, or talk bad about each other. Everyone that works for her is encouraged to uplift each other up and to inspire the students to be the best they can be. People that don’t agree with that plan don’t stick around very long.
An Honest Person
This leader has integrity and self-discipline. She feels it is important to have a purpose and share that vision with her people. She is very transparent in her leadership style.
An Authentic Person
She is not afraid to be herself and wants her people to do the same.
Holds her Team Accountable
She is finding opportunities to bring authentic accountability to the forefront. For instance, if she hears someone say, “we are just oil field trash” she responds with, “and be proud of it… Be proud oil field trash.”
The actions of this leader are transforming the community because of her leadership qualities and beliefs.
So, no matter where you are, what you do, how you do it, how much money you make, or where you come from, you can make a positive impact to those who are around you. You can change the world one relationship at a time.
LeadSmart and lead on! Thanks for reading! Please like, share, and comment below. Also, check out my first 4 podcasts for more inspiration on how to lead better tomorrow. I’m working on three more podcasts that I plan to release soon so watch for updates. Don’t forget to review and rate them on iTunes or Podbean.