Five Ways in Which Stubbornness Can Impede Educational Leadership
As educators, we all know that every teacher and administrator has their own individual style of leadership and instruction. Most of the time this diversity of thought and technique is a great thing. Different teachers are constantly bringing fresh ideas to the educational community, and the world of education is better for it.
However, when teachers and administrators become stuck in a rut and refuse to fluctuate from their specific ways of doing things, this stubbornness can lead to a multitude of problems. Here, we describe five ways in which stubbornness can impede educational leadership.
- New ideas are rejected
We all have a specific way we prefer to do things, and sometimes we believe, either correctly or incorrectly, that our specific way of doing something is the best way in terms of benefiting students. But this confidence in our own practices can become a problem when it turns into downright stubbornness and a refusal to change and adapt. Everyone has a different perspective to bring to the table, and often these fresh perspectives can lead to phenomenal new ideas and practices within the field of education. It is essential that educational leaders be open to these different perspectives and ideas.
- Festering problems are ignored
Stubbornness among leadership does not come only in the form of refusing to accept new ideas. Stubbornness can also cause festering problems to be ignored. For instance, an administrator may be ignoring a problem with a teacher she knows should be dealt with, either because she views herself as being too busy to deal with the problem or perhaps because she hired that teacher and does not want to feel responsible for hiring a bad teacher.
- Stubbornness becomes a precedent
When educational leaders begin to act stubborn, it can be much easier for that leader to act stubborn again. It’s incredibly easy to build bad habits. Additionally, that stubborn behavior sets a precedent of stubborn behavior not only for that individual leader but for all of the other educational leaders who view her as an example, including other administrators and teachers. The best way to have a staff that is flexible and open to new ideas is to be flexible and open to new ideas yourself. As an educational leader, you are constantly setting an example for others whether you realize it or not.
- Micro-managing wastes time
When leaders are stubborn, they tend to micromanage. If a leader believes that only she is capable of doing a job correctly, then she will be hovering over her staff constantly, making sure they follow her exact instructions, without allowing her staff to develop their own leadership skills. This micromanaging wastes a lot of time. As the saying goes, give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day, but teach a man to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime. Teach your staff to be educational leaders themselves.
- Your employees won’t feel appreciated
All of this micromanaging and refusal to listen to new ideas will likely cause organizational conflict, especially when it comes to top-down management. Teachers may begin to resent their administrators because they feel that their ideas and contributions are unappreciated and that their leadership abilities are being stomped on, rather than encouraged to grow.
It is incredibly important to begin fostering an open-minded educational community as soon as possible instead of rewarding stubborn behavior. Not only will you be able to avoid the five problems that we have discussed, but you will also be avoiding conflicts that arise from having stubborn staff. If you are open-minded, your staff will follow your example.