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Where Do All of the “Dunkers” Go? Adversity Training for School Boards, Superintendents, and Site-B

My sister and I didn’t fight a lot while growing up, but when we did, she would run to my mom and tell on me—even when SHE was the one who did something nasty to me. This was pretty petty stuff growing up, but organizational adversity works in the same way. They say that “heat rises” and through the work that Rebecca and I do regarding analyzing organizational adversity, we contend that during times of task adversity (daily duties, responsibilities, or decision-making) or career adversity (livelihood, reputation, etc.), the “dunkers” end up going to the top (superintendents and school boards), at some point, in order to get them involved in their plotting, pillaging, and plundering.

As we work with “dunk tank” cases and situations and offer advice to those who are getting caught up in the “dunk tank,” we do not condone poor leadership skills or protect those who are terrible leaders. However, the kind of adversity that interests us is the existence of unfair political mechanisms that we outline within our book.

Sometimes, superintendents and school board members are involved in the “political dunking” of a colleague or someone they supervise. However, we believe that most superintendents and most school board members mean well, do well, and have the best interest of students and staff in mind.

With that said, if we do not train our school boards and superintendents about the tenets of adversity training, we will never eradicate or decrease the political unfairness that exists in school systems everywhere.

We hear more and more stories each day about how “school siblings run to mom or dad” in order to get their ear and find an alliance with those who ultimately make the final personnel recommendations and decisions about anyone’s career and livelihood.

If we do not involve school boards and upper level administrators in the discourse about adversity, then we will continue to have a broken chain of command where “dunking” will become even more rampant.

Join us in our work to assist schools and districts on providing adversity training as a solution for school staff and school governance bodies (school board members) who shouldn’t have to be caught in the middle of adult misbehavior or become involved in the emotions, behaviors, and tactics of the “dunkers.”

As always, Rebecca and I have found that when adult adversity exists, student achievement, school culture/morale, and the foundation of civility all decline (and in some cases, very rapidly).

So, where do most “dunkers” go?

To the top.

When the heat is on, it surely rises (to the top).

Visit in order to download our free e-book Reflection Guide. There is a section just for superintendents and school board members.

Contact us at 716-860-0380 or by dropping us an e-mail at or

We have space available for your next conference, workshop, or convention.

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