Constitutionally Right

The only way to predict the future is to create it.

Location: Yardley, PA (Bucks County), United States

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Leadership Is the Missing Element - Bucks County Courier Times June 27, 2010

I just returned from the latest Pennsbury School Board meeting and was "intrigued" by the environment of confrontation and defiance along with the fantastic display of total cluelessness. It was as if some were trying to defend their profession by making others feel guilty for their disrespect. Not sure where this comes from since we place teachers in a very high position of honor. We demonstrate this, in part, by paying them well because we value their service to our community.
But making everything about money is not the way to secure an increased salary or enhance one's standing. It's how to create hostility and we're clearly on the fast track to disaster.
I read an article that described why the best sales people are former teachers and nurses. It's because they're most in touch with the needs of others and how to best serve them. The theme that some seem incapable of understanding is that your own needs follow when you put those of others first. It's the underlying principle of the best organizations.
I've met very few teachers that I'd show the door to, but there are other opportunities if one needs to make more money. Teaching is not a business, but some have found that the qualities of a great teacher are the same as a great business person. Success anywhere is generally a 24/7 affair and it often takes 20 years to be an "overnight success".
There's an entitlement mentality that I just can't put my finger on that functions on the backs of our children. I was a senior during the 50+ day Neshaminy strike and a parent during Pennsbury's. There's a dysfunction somewhere in the system that needs to change.
I wonder if leadership is the missing element. There are forces hard at work making sure that pennies on the dollar of our taxes get to the intended recipient; from the buttons, billboards, ads and mailers that we see locally in Pennsbury to much larger violations in almost every sector of our current state of inefficiency and underperformance.
In all honesty, though, I'm having trouble getting my hands around the teacher's spouse who constantly uses Public Comment at the Pennsbury School Board meetings to excoriate the members of the Board who authorize his lifetime benefits and also the community members who pay for them. I just might petition the Board to pass a resolution that anyone who receives lifetime benefits from Pennsbury taxpayers will only be permitted to say "thank you" during Public Comment from their hands and knees.
I can understand others playing politics with my children, but putting politics before their own children is a bit startling. From the Democrat Party plants who spoke with the eloquence of Eva Braun to those yearning for the approval of their peers all I could hear when they opened their mouths was the radio rebroadcast of the Hindenburg disaster. Some were even shocked that some Board Members have the nerve to keep their fellow citizens informed.
Why is leadership so elusive today? Maybe too many thing that political manipulation is the way to get a desired result rather than good old-fashioned courage, enthusiasm and integrity. It's not so much about getting what you want, but rather in helping others to do their best. It's about standing up for what's right and doing a job properly without being told. It is not about being sloppy, self-centered and unpleasant.
The solution isn't something that will be mandated, legislated or manipulated. It will be in following the lead of good teachers, kids, parents and so on that are already doing the right things (even when no one's looking). It will be standing up for what's right even if you're the only one doing it and not taking "no" for an answer. Because history always repeats itself - those who continually bite the hand that feeds them eventually end up licking the boot that kicks them. I think all of us would much rather join hands in a unified partnership of the common vision of a great community.
Do it for the children and I'll bet that you'll have ended up doing it for yourself as well.