Doing the Right Things Right

There is a saying about leadership:


Administration is ‘Doing Things’
Management is ‘Doing Things Right’
Leadership is ‘Doing the Right Things’

I learnt it on a leadership course called ‘Leadership Pathways’ course a couple of years ago. The saying is meant to indicate how without good leadership, management and administration is pointless, because you can earnestly be doing things and even doing things right, but they may be the wrong things. So therefore we need good leaders who can do the right things.


However there is a hidden emotional agenda that new leaders can take away from the saying. It’s that somehow leaders are at the top of the pile – everything will fall into place with good leaders. I blogged about that in my recent post: the lie of the leadership pyramid. There is a possibility that leaders can devalue their managers and their administrators because they have been convinced that their role as leader is exponentially more important than the role of anyone else.


The fact is that some leaders can choose the right things, but do them wrong. And worse, some leaders can talk about the right things but not actually do them.


I want to work in a school where the administrators, managers and leaders are all valued and empowered to carry out their equally valuable roles. Where we have people who get things done, where there are others who can help and guide those people-who-are-‘doing’ to do things right and where through good leadership everyone is engaged in doing the right things.


I want to work in a school where we do the right things right.
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