No Need for "Brown Eyes"
Thus far, I have posted about educational conspiracy, challenging the competitive nature of schools, and assessing assessments. What follows is a topic near and dear to everyone's career and workplace. This is a post I have been looking forward to sharing with all of you. It's a bit lighthearted, but a serious topic for school leadership.
Let me begin with a disclaimer. A tantalizing and possibly offensive word will be used throughout this post. The word is not common to the professional language of Dr. McLeod or his readers. However, since I will be using the word in the context of a theory, it should be understood that I am not trying to be edgy or shocking. I am merely using the word for purpose of clarity.
The day before Christmas break I am browsing through a book store looking for a good gift for my principal. In the management section I spot a small book with an intriguing title - The No Asshole Rule. I first think this must be some kind of gag gift. But a ten-minute perusing of the book tells me something else. The author, Robert Sutton, is a well known and respected writer. He's not joking here. He is only using the lay terminology for "difficult people", "hardened hearts", or "combative individuals". I bought The No Asshole Rule (TNAR) for my principal, and a copy for myself. Now we're both equipped to handle this obnoxious faculty member.
TNAR is a much needed common language leadership book. I know many of as are fans of many different education leadership authors (Fullan, Heifetz, Wheatley, and Gardner) . These books are chock full of ideas, principles, and theories that are sound, sensible, and applicable. But Sutton is onto something different here. His deliberate use of the word "asshole" to describe those - well, assholes - that we work with, sit through meetings with, receive directives from, and must collaborate with every day, is refreshing.
Though TNAR is written mainly for those employed in the private sector (where hiring and firing is fast and furious - unlike public education), it does have some practical applications for schools.
For instance, how many administrators, teachers, or staff members have you worked with or encountered that have indulged in Dr. Sutton's "Dirty Dozen" list of actions that assholes use?
Check out Dr. Sutton for yourself.
A few things anyone can take from this book are Sutton's suggestions on dealing with assholes you can't get rid of:
His final word of advice is one that we should all take to heart. Don't hire assholes. Those of us in positions of authority to hire faculty, administrators, and staff must seriously consider candidate's personality as much as we consider their knowledge and ability. I'll remember that as we begin our annual hiring carnival this Spring and Summer.
Lastly, Sutton's book will give you some great tips on how to deal with those pesky, pernicious, parents whom we lovingly call (in the copy room) "assholes".
PS- Just for fun: take the asshole quiz.
Mike Parent - guest blogger
Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.
No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.
It's one factor that can help explain the religiosity gap.
- Sociologists have long observed a gap between the religiosity of men and women.
- A recent study used data from several national surveys to compare religiosity, risk-taking preferences and demographic information among more than 20,000 American adolescents.
- The results suggest that risk-taking preferences might partly explain the gender differences in religiosity.
She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.
- For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
- These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
- Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
A NASA astronomer explains how astronauts dispose of their, uh, dark matter.
- When nature calls in micro-gravity, astronauts must answer. Space agencies have developed suction-based toilets – with a camera built in to ensure all the waste is contained before "flushing".
- Yes, there have been floaters in space. The early days of space exploration were a learning curve!
- Amazingly, you don't need gravity to digest food. Peristalsis, the process by which your throat and intestines squeeze themselves, actually moves food and water through your digestive system without gravity at all.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.