Thursday, August 2, 2012

Part of Leadership is About Making Your Agenda Everyone Else's

The New York Times Washington correspondent Jodi Kantor talks about what she believes to be President Obama's biggest political mistake in her work "The Obamas-" he neglected the need to bring the country along with his ideals. Looking at the passage of the health care law as a lesson in leadership (let's not debate the merits of the legislation here), one should heed the rule that it takes the support of everyone around a leader to install his initiatives successfully. Leaders should make their agenda their subordinates', colleagues', and constituents' agenda and not make the same mistake Obama made early on in his fight for health reform when he abandoned public sentiment and forsake the need to persuade the nation that his initiatives were important for everyone.

Every educational leader is entitled to establish an agenda as long as the agenda is in the interests of student achievement. The lesson I take away from Kantor's analysis is that supervisors, principals, and superintendents should do what American presidents must do- get everyone on-board with the agenda so there is shared interest in "doing the agenda right."

This post is part of the "Leadership Lessons From American Presidents" series.

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