Thursday, January 08, 2015

1. Is willing to listen to input, but is a decision maker

So reads the first item in the Albuquerque Public Schools 33 Qualities Survey.

1. Is willing to listen to input, but is a decision maker
It is important (to the board) that the superintendent needs to be a decision maker - but only if they're willing to "listen" to stake and interest holders.

When a decision needs to be made, a reasonably well informed superintendent will enter decision making with their mind made up already - based on the input they have been given already.

Additional input may or may not change their decision. There is no aspect of the decision making process that guarantees that input of any kind from anybody or group, has the capacity to actually "move the needle" that represents the decision.

"Listening" is a one way street. One can "listen" without interest or caring. One can listen without be moved by what they are listening to.

The paradigm is further reinforced by the premise that the superintendent is THE decision maker.

Being THE decision maker allows the superintendent to micromanage the district. Hiring a superintendent who micromanages the district will allow the school board to micromanage both the superintendent and the district.

There is another model for decision making.
The authority to make decisions can be delegated.

Stake and interest holder input can be respected by allowing their meaningful participation in decision making. There is no more meaningful form of participation in decision making than being one of the decision makers.

APS Supt Winston Brooks' greatest success, however misguided, was his and the board's effort to end collaborative decision with stake and interest holders by consolidating all decision making power in his and a few others' hands.

The number one quality in a leader is the readiness and ability to delegate decision making power to decision making at the lowest possible level.

That is how you involve stake and interest holders.
That is how you respect and honor their input.

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