Rockin’ Shutdown Eve

We are currently in the second week of our second major federal government shutdown in U.S. history (the first occurred in 1995-1996 under President Bill Clinton). All political opinions aside, the government shutdown provides an interesting perspective on leadership. As future leaders we will undoubtedly face opposition against change, new ideas, policies, procedures, etc. While certain arguments can often be ceased with the simple phrase “agree to disagree” (as I’m sure many of us have used in our personal relationships!), many arguments simply cannot – especially not arguments that affect many different groups of people. Educational leaders must appease many groups – teachers, parents, students, school board members, administrators, community members, etc. How do we decide when to compromise, and when to stand up for what we feel will be the best decision for our followers? Burns defines leadership as “leaders inducing followers to act for certain goals that represent the values and the motivations—the wants and needs, the aspirations and expectations of both leaders and followers.” But what happens when these wants and needs are starkly different?

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