Outstanding School Administrators: Their Keys to Success

By Frederick C. Wendel; Fred A. Hoke et al. | Go to book overview

5
COMMITMENT

In the mid- 1980s, after the breakup of AT&T, a consultant had the opportunity to work with a company that provided structured interviews to screen employees for several telecommunications companies competing with AT&T. A telephone company in Wisconsin asked the consultant to interview five individuals who had the technical expertise to serve as a controller. Using a structured interview, the assignment was to rank the five candidates according to the highest level of commitment.

Over several days, each candidate interviewed with the chief executive officer. The candidate with the highest commitment was ultimately offered the position. Wisconsin presents a challenge to people who have not been raised in the cold. The CEO wanted the spouse of this finalist to be comfortable with the move north and so invited her to visit Wisconsin to see if she thought she liked the environment enough to tolerate the winters. When she deplaned, it was obvious she was not feeling well. As the day's activities continued, her health began to decline. Later in the day, after being admitted to a local hospital, she died.

You can imagine the confusion! Trying to do his best to accommodate the situation, the CEO indicated he would not hold the finalist to any previous obligations. Knowing the executive had three teenaged daughters in school, the CEO thought it might be better for this candidate to stay in Ohio. To the amazement of the CEO, the executive said, "No, I'm staying here. I made a commitment. My daughters and I are moving to Wisconsin."

Is that what we find in a commitment? Yes. It is an unashamed, full-speed-ahead intention to finish a job no matter what the obstacles.

It is refreshing to study school administrators who, when putting their shoulders to the plow, will not stop until the job is done. People can depend on administrators who are committed. In tough times and good times, knowing that no matter what

-80-

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Outstanding School Administrators: Their Keys to Success
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Introduction ix
  • 1 - Educational Philosophy 1
  • Summary 43
  • References 44
  • 2 - Values 45
  • Summary 57
  • References 58
  • 3 - Visionary Leadership 60
  • Summary 68
  • References 69
  • 4 - Institutional Leadership 71
  • Summary 79
  • References 79
  • 5 - Commitment 80
  • Summary 86
  • 6 - Interpersonal Relations 87
  • Summary 107
  • References 107
  • 7 - Innovation and Quality 108
  • Summary 127
  • References 128
  • 8 - Risk Taking 130
  • 9 - Communication 138
  • Summary 155
  • References 155
  • 10 - Selection 157
  • 11 - Personal Development and Professional Organizations 165
  • References 173
  • Index 175
  • About the Authors 182
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