The “Get Motivated” seminar was powerful. Nearly every speaker mentioned that they didn’t do well in school. They were outcasts or labeled or had poor grades. Yet, every speaker on the stage was successful in various areas of life.
General Colin Powell said that he wasn’t a great student but that he did great in ROTC. The school rolled his ROTC grades into his cumulative average bringing his GPA up to a 2.0. He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree and entered the army. “It’s not where you start in life, it’s where you end up and what you do along the way to get there.”
General Powell spoke about leadership. “The role of leadership is to put the followers in the best possible environment to get the job done.” “Every group of human beings . . . has to have a purpose. . . What are you doing to serve society? It can’t just be making a profit or increasing a shareholder value it has to be a service to society; every individual must feel that they have a purpose.”
“Followers want to follow someone who shows moral or physical courage. They want to follow somebody who is an example to them, an example of ethical behavior, an example of integrity. They want to follow a leader who is selfless; they want to follow a leader who is always thinking about the good of the organization and the good of the people.”
The second most important aspect of leadership for General Powell was, “Take care of the troops, they’re the ones who are going to get it done.” “Recognize performance . . . when people are not doing their job you’ve got to do something about it.” “If you want to be a leader you’ve got to look somebody in the face and say . . . you’re fired.”
Our School Board members and our superintendents must be genuine leaders or we must do our job as the leaders of this community to remove them from office. Institutionalized coercion must end and genuine leadership must become the management style of the Rochester City School District.
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