Effective Education Leaders Don’t Need a Consensus
Even though having a consensus is beautiful, it is rare and unnecessary. As an education leader, remember that, on average, 20 percent of everyone in your school or district will be against something. You will never come remotely close to having a consensus on your vision or on a solitary initiative. But that is quite ok.
Are you sure I don’t need a consensus?
You are the leader, and they pay you to make the tough decisions, not to get people to unanimously agree on a course of action. When you understand this, you realize that you don’t always have to compromise; you just need to make the right decision for your organization, whether everyone likes it or not. If you always try to reach consensus, you are being influenced and led by 20 percent of your employees.
Lions do not care about the opinions of sheep, and education leaders do not care about the opinions of others unless they have some validity. They make the right decision at the right time, and if people don’t like it, they can find another job, as your boat only has one captain.
I know that I might get some push back on this one, but tell me, when was the last time you were able to reach a consensus with a group larger than 10? If you did, it was difficult, and you had to negotiate and make a lot of concessions. Also, to please everyone you, you may have comprised your original goal or objective. In the end, everyone loses.
Now don’t get me wrong, allowing stakeholders to help you make a decision is a good thing, as they can help you think about all of the possible ramifications of various choices. However, once they have done so, you have to be one that makes the final decision based on the information that you have gathered.