What’s on your plate?

downloadFor those of you who have found your way to my blog in the past, you know that I am “domestically challenged”.  So it would probably surprise you that I found myself watching,  Restaurant Impossible,  a show where Robert Irvine is called into rescue restaurants that are in financial disarray. He updates the menu, renovates the physical layout of the establishment and provides financial advice to the owners.  Although the technical terms of the meal preparation seemed like a foreign language, the leadership advice that he provided the owner was music to my ears.

As this particular story unfolded, it became more and more obvious that as a result of a past employee’s indiscretion the owner had come to distrust her employees and subsequently was taking responsibility for every aspect of the restaurant.    In taking on so much responsibility, other areas of the owner’s life were falling apart.

At one point in the show, Robert Irvine, presented the owner with a series of chain necklaces, each one representing a task that she completes (ordering, scheduling, opening the restaurant, closing the restaurant etc.).   As each necklace was added, there was a visible change in the owner’s stature.



The next step involved a discussion about each task, followed by the question, “Who can you trust with this task?”   By the end of the session, there were several piles, each one assigned to a member of the restaurant team.  A few of the chain necklaces remained on the owner’s neck as she shared that she felt confident that those tasks needed to be completed by her.

The connections to school leadership were so obvious.  Most school leaders feel the need to control too much.  When in reality, it is so much effective to trust your team, which ideally includes your teachers, your support staff, your parent community, your student leaders, your system leaders and your Superintendent.  Trust your team members with important tasks.  Not only will it ease what is on your plate, it will demonstrate your trust in others.

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As you look towards the upcoming school year, what is on your plate?  What can you share with others?


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