Presentation on theme: "Leadership Lessons Learned the Hard Way"— Presentation transcript:
1 Leadership Lessons Learned the Hard Way Session #29Sue SzachowiczPrincipal, Brockton High School, Brockton, Massachusetts
2 Other potential titles of this session: What you never learned in any grad school, or in any licensure program…And, I’m supposed to know this WHY???You just can’t make this up!!!
3 My agenda for this session: OpenerWho is this woman and why is she here?The challenges of leadership: How would you handle this? (Leadership dilemmas to solve)What did we really do?My Top Ten Lessons of Leadership Learned the Hard WayYou just can’t make this one up!
4 We applaud you! Stand up if this is your very first year teaching. Opener:The Power of Us:Stand up if this is your very first year teaching.Thank you for joining this wonderful profession!We applaud you!
5 Thank you for stepping up to lead. We applaud you!!! Opener:The Power of Us:2. Stand up if you are in your first administrative position.Thank you for stepping up to lead We applaud you!!!
6 3. Stand up if one of your students is now a teacher. Opener:The Power of Us:3. Stand up if one of your students is now a teacher.Thank you for sharing your love of teaching with your students! We applaud you!
7 Opener:The Power of Us:4. Stand up if you are a Superintendent or Central Office administrator.Thank you for leading and supporting us in the schools We applaud you!
8 Thank you for supporting us in the public schools. We applaud you! Opener:The Power of Us:5. Stand up if you are a parent of a child in public school.Thank you for supporting us in the public schools We applaud you!
9 Thank you for dedicating yourself to our wonderful profession! Opener:The Power of Us:6. Stand up if you have been in education 20 years or more.Thank you for dedicating yourself to our wonderful profession!We applaud you!
10 Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! We applaud you! Opener:The Power of Us:7. Stand up if you have had a day when you feel like you’ve made a difference in the life of a student.Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! We applaud you!
11 Our “School of Champions” So who is this woman, and why is she here talking about leadership???
12 As we say in Boxer Country we are WICKED AWESOME Brockton High School Brockton, MassachusettsFeatured on the PBS series Need to Know
14 Who are We??? Our Demographics Comprehensive 9 – 12Enrollment: 4,218Poverty Level: 72%Minority population: 73%50 different languages50% speak anotherlanguage in the homeApproximately 12% inTransitional Bilingual Ed.Approximately 11% receiveSpecial Educ. Services
15 Meet our Students57% Black - includes African American, Cape Verdean, Haitian, Jamaican, and others26% White14% Hispanic2.5% Asian.5% Native American
16 Oh how FAR we have come!Our journey of four steps: 1. Empowered a team 2. Focused on literacy for ALL - NO exceptions 3. Implemented with fidelity and according to a plan 4. Monitored, monitored, monitored
18 Turnaround at Brockton High Emphasis on literacy brings big MCAS improvementPrincipal Susan Szachowicz, shown chatting at lunch with Yiriam Lopez,is in many ways the school’s biggest cheerleader. (Essdras M Suarez/ Globe Staff)By James Vaznis Globe Staff / October 12, 2009BROCKTON - Brockton High School has every excuse for failure, serving a city plagued by crime, poverty, housing foreclosures, and homelessness.Almost two-thirds of the students qualify for free or reduced-price lunches, and 14 percent are learning to speak English. More than two-thirds are African-American or Latino - groups that have lagged behind their peers across the state on standardized tests.But Brockton High, by far the state’s largest public high school with 4,200 students, has found a success in recent years that has eluded many of the state’s urban schools: MCAS scores are soaring, earning the school state recognition as a symbol of urban hope.
19 Boxers in the NEW YORK TIMES GO Boxers!!!Boxers in the NEW YORK TIMESHigh Expectations NO Excuses!!!September 28, 2010
20 YOUR TURN: Let’s try some leadership dilemmas Hey, it was no picnic!YOUR TURN: Let’s try some leadership dilemmas
21 Personnel Challenges1. What was your first reaction or thought – and BE HONEST! 2. What solutions/alternatives did you come up with? 3. Based on your discussions, your experiences, and your own instincts, how would you handle it- what do think is the best way to go?
22 Personnel ChallengesPlease take a few minutes to discuss the two personnel challenges: Dance of the Lemons and Mr. Hero using the three guide questions.
23 Personnel ChallengesSo, for the Dance of the Lemons: What did YOU decide? Here’s what we did…
24 So, for Mr. Hero: What did YOU decide? Here’s what we did… Personnel ChallengesSo, for Mr. Hero: What did YOU decide? Here’s what we did…
25 Leading Change Challenges Please take a few minutes to discuss the two Leading Change challenges: Do It My Way and Breaking the Trust using the three guide questions.
26 Leading Change Challenges So, for Do It My Way: What did YOU decide? Here’s what we did…
27 Leading Change Challenges So, for Breaking the Trust: What did YOU decide? Here’s what we did…
28 Adversarial Relationships Challenges Please take a few minutes to discuss the two Adversarial Relationships challenges: Free Speech Nut and Defiance using the three guide questions.
29 Adversarial Relationships Challenges So, for Free Speech Nut: What did YOU decide? Here’s what we did…
30 Adversarial Relationships Challenges So, for Defiance: What did YOU decide? Here’s what we did…
31 My Top TenFYI – This is so totally NOT research based. This is “walk a mile in my shoes” based.
32 My Top Ten: #10Don’t make a decision while walking around, it always comes back to bite you…the “gotta minute?” approach.
33 Two leadership lines that work: “I’m sorry” and “It’s MANDATORY!!!” My Top Ten: #9Two leadership lines that work: “I’m sorry” and “It’s MANDATORY!!!”
34 My Top Ten: #8You can’t eliminate feelings – the key is managing them. (“Why do you despise me so???”)
35 My Top Ten: #7PLAN your “fierce” conversations (difficult, disciplinary, adversarial…) conversations
36 Fierce Conversations“Fierce conversations are about moral courage, clear requests, and taking action. Fierce is an attitude.” Susan ScottAlso, Talk Sense by Barry Jentz
37 Three key steps in a Fierce Conversation: Fierce ConversationsThree key steps in a Fierce Conversation:The openingThe dialogueThe resolution
38 Step 1: The OpeningStep 1: Structure the conversation: set the boundaries in an OPENING“The purpose of today is…”“The procedure is… “I will tell you everything I know about the incident and ask you to tell me what you know”Time frame - “and together we will come up with a solution” within the next 30 minutes. If we need more time, we will schedule another meeting.”
39 Step 2: The dialogue You extend the invitation to a dialogue “Here’s what I’ve seen, I need to hear your take on this…” (back and forth)Then listen (can be difficult)USE AND be prepared for SILENCERestate what the other person says (“so, I hear you saying that…”)
40 Step 2: The dialogue (continued) Be clear about why this matters.When you give negative feedback, expect to get it back.Help is often viewed as a hindrance.Know when NOT to listen.“Let me write down what you said so that I get it exactly” and then repeat it back.
41 Step 3: The ResolutionMake it clear the intent is to resolve the issue“So where are we now? What have we learned? How do we move forward?End the fierce conversation with a planMemorialize the discussion in writing
42 Homework!Think about a fierce conversation you need to have – the office bully, the obnoxious colleague you have tolerated, perhaps even the principal who hasn’t been a leader.Give yourself a date by which you will have had the conversation, then…DO IT!
43 My Top Ten: #6Contracts and unions don’t mean CAN’T. BUT, know what you can control, and what you can’t control, and don’t waste an ounce of energy on what you can’t control.
44 My Top Ten: #5“Because we’ve always done it this way” is not a reason to continue down the same path.
45 FOCUS, FOCUS, FOCUS Tune out the noise, be the hedgehog My Top Ten #4FOCUS, FOCUS, FOCUS Tune out the noise, be the hedgehog(Sense of urgency, sense of possibility; AND, subversive leadership works)
51 My Top Ten: #2It takes a team to implement change So GO AFTER THEM, even if you drag them on board kicking and screaming (begging sometimes worked for me)Your best hope for moving your school forward may be to work with the experts within your own school (as Ray says often “Leadership is not a position, but a disposition to act”)
53 No excuses…life isn’t fair. Use the challenges to your advantage. My Top Ten #1No excuses…life isn’t fair. Use the challenges to your advantage.Changing expectations is FREE!!!
54 You just can’t make this up… No matter how well prepared you are, no matter how many ed degrees you have, no matter how many years you’ve done this… there are some things you just can’t prepare for… just WATCH… and meet our new student…
55 Moral of the story???You just never know when you are going to run into a turkey in your building…
56 Dr. Susan Szachowicz Sharon Wolder Contact InformationSharon WolderAssociate Principal for Curriculum and InstructionBrockton High School470 Forest AveBrockton, MA 02301bpsma.orgDr. Susan SzachowiczPrincipalBrockton High School470 Forest AvenueBrockton, MA 02301bpsma.org