There has been much debate and discussion about who really matters? Do black lives matter? Do blue lives matter? One of Aesop’s fables, the Lion and His Army, seeks to answer these questions.
In the jungle, there are a diverse group of animals. There are tigers, giraffes, elephants, monkeys, hares, donkeys and clever foxes. Fighting has occurred among two groups of animals. The lion, the leader of the army, is wise. To prepare for battle, he assigns tasks to the animals according to their skills and abilities. Despite being challenged, the lion gives tasks to everyone. The moral of the story is that no one is useless, everyone has a skill, everyone matters.
Educational leaders should embrace the lion’s leadership philosophy. They should build relationships with each staff member. When principals are caring and supportive they talk to every faculty member and get to know them personally. Therefore, they are able to assign tasks effectively. This is the true essence of leadership( Northouse, p.69)
Principals must be aware of their school’s culture. When conflict or fighting arises they must address the issue immediately. Like the lion, principals must be fair and dismiss any bias statements by faculty members. They must bring their faculty members together as a team. Everyone must feel that they are valued and supported.
Teachers, especially African American teachers in predominately white schools, want to be valued for their talents and skills. As one teacher reported in an independent school survey, ” the school is interested in my expertise in literature and that makes me feel valuable”( Kane & Orsini,2003).
Principals who adopt the the lion’s philosophy of being fair, assigning tasks, addressing faculty bias, building relationships and simply making everyone feel valued and supported are the most effective. They realize that everyone matters not only in the jungle, but in their schools as well.
Northouse, P.G.(2015). Introduction to Leadership: Concepts and Practice. Washington, D.C: Sage Press.
Kane, P.R & Orsini, A. J ( Eds.) (2003). Colors of Excellence: Hiring and Keeping Teachers of Color in Independent Schools . New York: Teachers College.
The Lion and His Army. Retrieved April 16,2017, from https: http://www.youtube.com