You are the first to arrive. You hook up your laptop and prepare to lead your typical Monday management meeting.
Your staff starts arriving one by one whispering hesitantly an excuse for being late under their breath. Eventually, you've got everyone around the table, and you start 12 minutes late.
Annoyed, you move as quickly as possible to the first item on your agenda.
John is checking his emails, Kathy is on her iPad and Phoebe is staring out the window, into the rain, lost in her thoughts.
As you hear the filter coffee brewing in the background and the rain tapping onto the windowpane, you can't help but feel that your leadership team is lethargic and sputtering for energy...
Among the near 20 agenda items -including a door replacement PO, a field trip request and the cantine vendor change- you also need to convince your colleagues that you DO NOT need extra staff hires.
You'd like to be able to inspire them into looking beyond the mundane and striving for massive action and continuous improvement.
When you signed up for the principalship, you expected something akin to being a chief educator.
Instead, you've woken up to a world of unique human complexities where you have to execute like a chief executive, strategize like a military general and compete like a professional athlete.
You feel your board wants someone less like Charlotte Stewart (schoolteacher in 'Little House on the Prairie') and more like Stanley Allen McChrystal -retired four-star general best known for his command of Joint Special Operations Command in the mid-2000s.
You know that your priority is student achievement but to get there, first you must survive.
To get to the substantive work, you have first to tame your school's relentlessly sprouting hurdles and avoid and shore up all its rabbit holes.
How can you get John, Kathy, and Phoebe, energized, refreshed and all marching to the beat of the same drum?