Leadership magazine May/June 2015 V 44 No 5 - Page 34
things every day that embody the best of
the human spirit. Verbal compliments,
written notes, emails, phone calls,
Twitter updates or formal recognition
ceremonies should be part of every day
for a school leader. These interactions
cultivate positive relationships, encourage others to strive for success, and also
draw attention to the values of the organization.
Maintain flexibility. The effective leader is adaptive on a daily
basis. The wise leader knows which meetings can be postponed
to provide space to address an urgent issue. One of the wonderful aspects of the work of a school leader is the fact that no two
days are the same. The dynamism of the collective work of individuals and the fact that many of us are embedded in schools or
districts with hundreds or thousands of children requires us to
be responsive to whatever may arise, moment by moment, hour
by hour, and day by day.
What makes a difference?
Being engaged with the learning process, managing effective
communications, taking care of the
self, encouraging and recognizing others, and adapting to exigent needs are
the essential daily actions of an effective school leader. While it may sound
simple, the mechanics and balancing required to actualize these daily activities
are actually quite complex. Moreover, it
requires great discipline and consistency
to turn these activities into daily actions
that become habits. Ultimately, that discipline is often the differential between
ordinary and extraordinary leadership.
Our aspiration, for ourselves and for others, is to strive for the extraordinary. What we choose to do, each and every day, hour by
hour, and moment by moment, is what makes the difference. n
Devin Vodicka is superintendent in the Vista Unified School District
and ACSA’s 2015 Superintendent of the Year. Lisa Gonzales is
superintendent in the Portola Valley School District and
ACSA’s Vice President for Legislative Action. Both are members of
ACSA’s Technology Leadership Group and the Technology
Information Center for Administrative Leadership (TICAL).