Choose hopefulness over resignation

IMG_1365Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right. – Henry Ford

Successful leadership can sometimes be reduced to a small number of fundamental choices. Once those choices are made, they guide decisions and behavior in dozens of situations each week.

One of those choices is between hopefulness and resignation.

Hopefulness means that we see possibility where others see only constraints.

Hopefulness is not a naive faith that things will always resolve themselves in favorable ways. Nor is it a strategy. Without stretching goals and robust plans hope is just a fervent wish.

Instead, hopefulness is based on a fundamental assumption that people working together can accomplish far more than they might have initially thought possible.

Resignation only requires that we surrender ourselves to the status quo when confronted by the inevitable challenges that arise when engaged in important work. (“There have always been kids who were weren’t successful in school, and there is nothing that can be done to change that.”)

Hopefulness has several benefits:

  • Hopefulness expands what we believe is within our circle of influence.
  • Hopefulness gives us energy, which in turn energizes those around us.

• Hopefulness is the glue which connects and strengthens the school community while it pursues demanding goals.

Hopeful principals and teacher leaders inspire the school community with the prospect of a better future. They then provide a means for the realization of that aspiration through the development of ambitious goals and powerful plans.

In offering hope and providing a pathway to its realization, school leaders serve their communities in fundamental and sustaining ways.


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