Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

Last weekend I finally finished Covey's, ' Seven Habits of Highly Effective People'. I found it interesting that a few of the habits that he discusses are already deeply en ground parts of my psyche esp. the idea that effective people are pro-active i.e. they get off their butts and do stuff :)

I've never been a big fan of the 'self help' genre but in amongst all the 'jargon' I found one gem that I could 'resonate' with. hehehehehe

' Imagine what an organisation could achieve if every person on staff was treated as a volunteer rather than a subordinate'.

What would this do to the dynamics of this organisation?
What would happen to the culture of horizontal violence in such organisation?
What would happen to the lip service paid to 'team'?
What would happen to directives that HAD to be followed?
What would happen to the directives that HAD to be supported?
What would happen to bullying of staff?
What would happen to quality of educational outcomes?
What would happen to staff morale?
What would happen to the budget for stress leave?
What would happen to the retention rate of beginning teachers in their first 5 years of teaching?
How would staff perceive those in 'leadership' roles as opposed to those 'management' roles and even worse... those who are consumed by 'micro-management'?

All that said, do the heads of your organisation 'lead' or 'manage'?


Do you 'lead' or 'manage'?

The Two Are Vastly Different!

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At October 26, 2007, Anonymous Bob Sharp said...

I was going to just pass on posting a comment because I am in a bad spot on this subject. I spent 34 years teaching and my last year was one of my absolute worst.

The current top three, i.e. my principal, my assistant superintendent and superintendent (lower case intended) manage by intimidation, harassment and fear.

I have had principals who were leaders and even though they did not treat us as volunteers, they did treat us with respect and compassion. One even was a buffer from a tyrannical superintendent. It would really be a different environment.

My brother built a business of food stores here in the U.S. based on the philosophy that managers needed to find the best in the individuals in the workplace, fit it to a company need, educate that person further, honor that new education by first of all paying for the training/education and then give that person a raise because you don't want to lose them. Praise that employee for doing well, help them if they make a mistake.

Imagine being honored for being a good teacher, praised for doing well with your students. It does happen some places.

If a district or even one school treated every employee as though they were volunteers? I volunteered for a couple of non profit organizations. They did honor us as often as they could and as well as they could afford. Working in an environment like that would be more pleasurable.

At October 26, 2007, Blogger Magi Shepley said...

Hm. An interesting topic, and one that probably... resonates.
I'm an active volunteer, and have been for more than half of my life. I grew up believing that volunteering was as important as working, because my mother did it. She always took me with her to meetings at the Red Cross, and when I was old enough, I started volunteering as well. Volunteering is enough of an important part of my life that I have always involved my students & my school in my service.
Just like the schools where I have taught, I've worked with some really bad "paid staff" (this is how the Red Cross tends to distinguish those who volunteer versus those who get paid...but even that is a bit fuzzy) Unlike teaching, I think that I've had fewer bad paid staff than administrators. For head principals, I've only had 2 that were worth mentioning, and only 4 assistant principals/direct supervisors. Some of them were just evil, awful people, such as those I worked for at my last school. It takes real chutzpah to require somebody leave your building (especially when they have not done anything remotely close to harming children or breaking the law) and refuse to allow them to take their belongings... and then claim that they don't know where the items are.
I am very fortunate now that, for the most part, my administrators at my current school are sane.
Within my volunteer work, in 20 years, I have 4 people that really made a difference, and encouraged me in new areas. I am forever grateful to the gentleman that allowed the under 18 year old me to join his disaster teams, take the classes, and serve on responses...
I think, that, on many levels, you're correct. But, as with all areas, there are issues and I don't know if treating people like volunteers is the best solution.


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