Successful leaders create a climate of success. Since our district is on the cusp of hiring a new superintendent, I find the following list to be timely and important.
1. True leaders arrive early and stay late--not for show, but because there is work to accomplish.
2. True leaders do not mind group discussions that explore conflicts because they know that problems cannot be solved unless those who observe or experience the problems are part of the solution.
3. True leaders know what they hope to accomplish.
4. True leaders coach their players to MVP status in the roles they are most qualified to play.
5. True leaders offer simple solutions without secrecy. They are open books.
6. True leaders toughen when big problems arise. They welcome challenges.
7. True leaders foster people's opinions because they are good listeners who respect all people's desire to experience a safe, happy environment.
8. True leaders know how to swiftly fix what is broken without threatening, intimidating, ignoring, or dramatizing.
9. True leaders take the blame rather than look for a scapegoat.
10. True leaders are honest in all situations but especially when under pressure.
11. True leaders admit their mistakes, set good examples, care about those they lead, keep promises, and communicate well.
12. True leaders know their actions communicate more than their words ever will.
13. True leaders prevent fires whenever possible.
14. True leaders are firm but fair, communicate clear boundaries, establish reasonable protocol, and deal with problems as they arise.
I hope Storm Lake hires a true leader for the superintendent's position. Our students deserve a leader who only expects the very best from them, from their teachers, from the support staff, from their parents, from our community and most importantly from him or herself.