Get used to not pleasing everyone

As hard as we may work in our roles as educational leaders, to some it will not be enough. We will make 1000’s of decisions, some are popular and some maybe less so. Certain parts of our job we may have no control over, yet the buck may stop with us. We may endeavour to be appreciative of our colleagues but we may not meet the needs of all.

The reality of being an educational leader is a tough one to take at times, we cannot get everything right and please everyone. We will from time to time make mistakes and we will often have to make decisions when consensus cannot be reached, leaving ‘winners’ and ‘losers’, or at least that is the perception of some and to them that is their reality.

When we do not please everyone, expect that there will be conversations behind our back and, perhaps even, occasional subversive behaviour. We have to prepare ourselves for what may be said about us online and for people to have their own take on events, which may become embellished for dramatic effect and to our detriment. It comes with the job.

In spite of this and how hard it can be at times to be a school leader, keep walking tall, backing up words with action by under-promising and over-delivering in the best interest of our schools and students. Most importantly, we must continue to be respectful to everyone, even those we know are our fiercest critics, and pay attention to our character, set our bar high and don’t let the naysayers pull us down.

3 thoughts on “Get used to not pleasing everyone

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  1. That’s life Richard! Collaborative decision-making involving all team members and representatives of those likely to be affected by the decision in question, will always result in reducing the number and severity of those “not pleasing everyone” occasions. They will still occur however you personally will always be in a better position to justify the decision! Cheers …. My very best wishes …. Keep SSIS humming along…..

  2. An insightful read Richard. Whilst I agree that you can’t please everyone, your underlying leadership philosophy has a major influence on possible negative outcomes.

    Leadership is always more than a name of the door. It’s how you make your staff more! I think the true mark of a good leader is to base their actions on honesty, transparency and consistency. Exhibiting these qualities as a leader tends to make a more accepting environment when tough decisions need to be made.

    This is not news for you as you have always displayed these qualities. It’s why SSIS will continue to grow whilst you have the lead. It remains food for thought for others facing challenges on a regular basis.


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