It was 5:30 am and I was on the treadmill getting my workout in before school. Sweat was dripping in my eyes as my bad knees complained about the pounding I was giving them. Luckily I had on SportsCenter to distract me. I was about halfway through my time when one of those Fantasy Football commercials came on urging the viewer to create a league. It looked simple enough, and I knew a lot of my friends were participants. I decided to check it out.
According to ESPN if I wanted to be a commissioner I would be able to tweak almost every detail imaginable in a never ending quest to create the greatest league of all-time! As a fantasy football commissioner all that power would be fantastic.
As I reflected on the role of principal vs the role of commissioner I realized that the two roles required entirely different mindsets. As a principal believing you have that kind of unlimited power and behaving as if you do is a recipe for disaster.
The commissioner in fantasy football is based off of the outdated autocratic model of leadership. Criticisms of this leadership style mentioned in an article by N Nayab and edited by: Jean Scheid include:
A Dynamic Principal finds ways to empower the staff through servant leadership and is as democratic as possible. This gives the staff ownership which helps create high morale and strong commitment. An ancillary benefit of this is not as many teachers call off.
With everyone buying-in and sharing in the decisions, when the principal has to leave for the inevitable meeting, is again unavailable, or eventually finds a different job, teachers are able to pick up the slack, make decisions, and even support a new principal. Under this leadership style teachers are much more flexible and feel safer because they have been part of the solutions.
Servant leadership creates a culture where an interchange of ideas and open communication is the norm. In this type of environment teachers feel supported and are placed into roles where they become teacher leaders. A principal who has created and fostered this type of environment knows his staff and their strengths and is able to find opportunities for them to succeed.
While being a commissioner in a fantasy league is a great way to hangout with your friends and compete for bragging rights it's a horrible way to run a school.
I'm a Principal and an Entrepreneur. I'm the former owner of a food venture Hustling Hoagies, the author of the children's picture books Detective Dwayne Drake and the Alphabet Thief, Detective Dwayne Drake and The Case of the Mathematical Misfit and the ebook Making it as a Male Model in Michigan. I've worked professionally as a model and commercial actor......