Kids Watch Adults for Clues About How to Behave and How to Succeed
It takes great discipline and more than a little practice to stay focused on a mission when there is substantial resistance and noise surrounding it.
A change in direction, whether in a company, a school system, a family, even a church means that some will be supportive, while others will disagree with the change and work to protect the status quo.
The challenge to leaders of change is enormous. Most change becomes personal at some point and leaders almost invariably come under attack for issues that are tangential to the task at hand. Personal failings and prior mistaken judgment calls are almost automatic. Today, a person’s political affiliation seems to trump all else, including common sense. These battles distract from the important work of understanding systemic failures, coming up with solutions, implementing new methods, measuring effectiveness, and staying focused on the mission.
A case in point is the conversation about what’s happening within the Democrat party as it pertains to MPS. While it is true that Democrats have control of all governing bodies at both state and federal levels, and that legislation affects school systems, the work at hand is about improving the way we educate our children. The current system is failing our expectations, no matter which political party is in control.
Changing a system as large and complex as MPS will require bold and united leadership, laser focus, staunch discipline, and a recognition that there will be a great deal of anger and fear involved in the work. Friends will want to take care of each other; this is a natural human tendency. But this, too, is beside the point. Where loyalties serve to disrupt the effectiveness of a child’s education, they must be altered.
Recognizing the many forces exerting pressure on the system—families, teaching methods, nutrition, finances, history, technology, violence, and yes political alignments to name a few—is an essential step in expecting and managing opposition.
The future of our communities and businesses rides on our ability to educate our youth. Early failings will grow more expensive over time. Without the ability to understand the issues that challenge us or to communicate clearly and effectively, young leaders will be at the mercy of a fast-changing and increasingly unfriendly world. No one wants that.
Kids watch adults for clues about how to behave and how to succeed. Let’s get—and stay—focused on teaching them how to learn.