“When you learn about successful principals, you keep coming back to the character traits they embody and spread: energy, trustworthiness, honesty, optimism, determination. We went through a period when we believed you could change institutions without first changing the character of the people in them. But we were wrong. Social transformation follows personal transformation.”
This is a concluding comment on a David Brooks column about school leadership. Turns out that recent studies indicate the quality of the principal will likely determine whether a school improves.
Energy-they get out of their office and interact with students and teachers.
Trustworthiness- they fulfill commitments. Do what they say they will do. Offer a consistency to constituents which provides them a steadiness.
Honesty- tell the truth. Offer candor. Provide transparency.
Optimism- offer encouragement. Believe in a positive future. Communicates trust. Inspires confidence.
Determination- persistent. Resilient. Tough minded.
At PalletOne and Sunbelt, we don’t think leadership is reserved for those with titles.
There are opportunities daily where different individuals see things that need to be fixed or addressed. Opportunities to encourage and teach. Opportunities to become an agent of change.
The trick is to get the best, nearest person to pick up the challenge and act.
The “social transformation” that Brooks describes is what we call “culture”. We want to be a company where you enjoy the opportunity to come to work. We accomplish that when we lead where we stand.
PalletOne CEO Howe Wallace
Since 2005, he has been sharing his thoughts on the organization, leadership, and communication in an online daily note to teammates called Daily with HQ.