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Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume I, Issue 1 2012

Move That Bus! Melissa McIntosh, Assistant Superintendent Jefferson ISD ―Move that bus!‖ If you are a television fan, that quote brings to mind the show ―Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.‖ However, if you are more of a literature fan, this quote probably prompts visions of the book Good to Great by Jim Collins. The visual created with the bus analogy is one that sticks. Every executive has felt the pressure of being the driver of the bus and trying vigorously not only to get the bus moving but keep it moving in the right direction at an appropriate speed. Drive too slowly, and the bus gets hit from behind with state and/or federal expectations or the favorite of leaders--the unfunded mandate. If the driver goes too fast, you leave passengers behind. Without the passengers, the work of the district would not be completed in an appropriate manner. With the driver having such important responsibilities, how can he/she assure the passengers that they will all arrive at the selected destination on time without delays? Directions from the Manual Every vehicle comes with an operation manual. While many drivers jump behind the wheel, turn the key, and take off, a woman school executive knows better. As Michael Fullan (2008) expresses, ―followers expect leaders to know what they are doing, especially in relation to complex, critical issues of the day‖ (p.117). Women school executives must be very cautious and dedicated to reading all the necessary manuals to ensure a safe trip. The drivers read everything from Texas School Law books to the Texas Education Code. These leaders are so cautious that they will even consult attorneys to deepen their understanding of the expectations. All of these matters are handled with great care just to ensure that she knows how to drive the bus and how to get it moving in the right direction. Global Positioning System (GPS) Most drivers today do not leave anything to chance, so cautious drivers rely on Global Positioning Systems better known as GPS. The woman school executive wants everyone to have confidence in the route we are going to take to our final destination. In order for the passengers to know where we are going, the Superintendent in collaboration with all stakeholders creates a vision, mission, and beliefs. These three pillars keep the bus in the right lane. When we are - 75 -

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JTWSE—Volume 1  

JTWSE—Volume 1  

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