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Journal of Texas School Women Executives, Volume I, Issue 1 2012 driving (leading), it is easy to get distracted and miss a crucial turn or exit. Just as the driver relies on the GPS to keep us on track to arrive at our destination in a timely manner, the vision, mission, and beliefs guide the district and keep us united and focused on the correct lane. If the passengers all have a different opinion on what the destination is and how long it should take to get there, it can lead to chaos and confusion. Detours and Road Construction Sometimes even with the greatest technology, we hit a roadblock or end up stuck in traffic. As the leader of an organization, women school executives hit their fair share of road blocks. Some delays surface as a board member who needs more information about a particular matter, a parent who is frustrated with a teacher, a teacher who is struggling with a student or leadership that is not as effective as you would like it to be. The aforementioned roadblocks are common obstacles for every leader. So, if we know delays are inevitable, how do we cope with these unwanted roadblocks? The first key is to make sure you read and understand the manual. John C. Maxwell (1998) says, ―Leaders who want to succeed maximize every asset and resource they have for the benefit or their organization‖ (p. 83). If you are ever unsure or lack complete understanding, reach out to those who can light the path. Call attorneys, auditors, the Texas Education Agency, law enforcement or whomever or whatever it takes to ensure that the bus is legally out on the street. Second, find other strong drivers whom you can lean on and glean from to make you a better driver. Find someone with more experience who can help you avoid making detours. Third, know who your greatest supporters and biggest critics are on the bus. There are not many people who like back-seat drivers, but you better know who they are so you can evaluate the information they give you before you act upon it. Phillip C. Schlechty (1997) stresses, ―it is certain that saboteurs can cause trouble no matter where they are, but I have found that the best place to have them is on the inside where they can be watched rather than on the outside where they can cause trouble without its being detected until the effects have been felt‖ (p. 218). On the contrary, keep your greatest supporters in the front seats. They know and understand that you are an exceptional driver, and you only have the passengers’ best interest at heart. These individuals will keep watch with you during the trying times, and they will be there to keep you from giving up and drifting off course. Staying the Course During the journey there are times when we grow tired and weak. However, you must remember that there are passengers who are counting on you to get them to that grand, glorious destination. While the trip will not always go smoothly, the woman school executive must always realize her value and relevance in providing a safe passageway. While the focus of this article is on the complexities of being a school executive, the most important cargo is not even inside the bus. The cargo is the students in our districts. The students need a strong school executive who will be their advocate. A strong leader will ensure that the road they journey on leads to a successful future. What kind of driver are you? - 76 -

Profile for Texas Association of School Administrators

JTWSE—Volume 1  

JTWSE—Volume 1  

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