What is your Reputation?

James O’Toole in a recent blog in Strategy + Business http://www.strategy-business.com/blog/Why-New-CEOs-Sometimes-Bring-New-Problems?gko=186b5 talks about the perils of a new CEO being appointed and in order to be distinguished from the old CEO, fixing things that are not broken.

Yet in trying to differentiate themselves, new CEOs often abandon successful strategies, programs, and even organizational missions.

I wish I could say that this never happens in educational institutions, but unfortunately it does…often. Whether the former superintendent was a well-respected leader or someone who had to leave town under the cover of darkness,  we all feel the need to distinguish our administration from the former administration.

Here is my suggestion to avoid this pitfall. As a new CEO/superintendent, find a seasoned, authentic staff member who has no problem telling truth to power, check your ego at the door, and let them advise about what you are thinking of changing. Review with them the logic behind your proposed change. Realize that almost any change requires a cultural shift, as well as a structural change. And remember “Desperately searching for a tree on which to leave a mark”  is not a career builder legacy, nor the caption you want scribbled under your portrait in the lobby!



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