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When Taking the High Road Leads to Shakier Ground

Our Dunk Tank Voxer Group, entitled “Prevailing Leaders” never ceases to amaze me. The reflections, posts, and voice messages are powerful and we are not just discussing the Dunk Tank book to a point where it would become too stale.

Instead, we are a support group, a reflective group, and we love talking about innovative leadership, teaching, and learning in so many incredible ways. We love wrestling with issues about leadership life.

Recently, we were discussing how taking the “high road” with others within our organization can sometimes lead to either more trouble or a dead end. When we practice good behavior in our schools, others might take advantage of our kindness, generosity, or positive spark. When adult misbehavior exists, students do suffer in the end, and we have to always remember that.

When we continue to take the “high road,” it is important to explicitly clarify why we all must take the “high road” at any cost:

1. Leadership should never stoop to lower levels of misbehavior. The moment we do, we will regret it someday. Plus, we are harming our organization and ourselves.

2. Leadership models for both staff and students the importance of building a healthy organization even if others want to be unhealthy when they wake up each morning.

3. Leadership is cyclical. When we are positive, positive things will happen. When we are negative, negative things will happen.

4. Leadership calls on us to balance multiple perceptions from multiple personalities within our organization. Leadership is both an art and a science in this regard.

Most importantly, if taking the “high road” leads you to shakier ground, you have to make a decision to address the elephant in the room or continue to stand on shaky ground.

If we all start pushing on the elephant, he is bound to budge, but prevailing leaders always take the “high road" and they never let others take advantage of them, either.

You can choose to ignore misbehavior, let misbehavior run rampant, or explicitly call out the misbehavior in your organization. What we do know, however, is that the shaky ground or dead end should never be because you crumbled or decided to take the “lower ground.”

Rick and Rebecca are accepting invitations for 2018-2019 in order to push on the elephant with you. We are working with many organizations right now and would love to join you as you plan your PD and annual conferences. Feel free to e-mail Rick at for more information.

Want to join our Voxer Group? On Twitter, contact Lena Marie Rockwood @Dr_LMR to sign up!

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