Seven Surprises for School Leaders
Twice a year, a dozen new CEOs, recently appointed to companies with at least a billion dollars a year in business, assemble at the Harvard Business School for a “boot camp” for new business leaders. The tutors for these chief executive officers are three of the business school’s resident experts: strategist Michael Porter, leadership scholar Nitin Nohria, and governance expert Jay Lorsch. The Harvard Business Review , in its October 2004 issue, reported on this gathering. The article, called “Seven Surprises for New CEOs,” is drawn from what these business professors say they have learned from their boot-camp classes—the elements that make a new CEO’s job uniquely challenging.
I was struck by this list of seven troublesome elements in business leadership because it so closely resembled the kinds of challenges new school heads, principals, and superintendents face. So I offer my own reading of these on-the-job surprises, hoping that, for new school leaders, knowing the parallels with business may at least temper the disequilibrium each surprise is certain to cause.
1. You Can’t Run the Company.
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- Director of School Support
- The Achievement Network, Multiple Locations
- K-12 Teachers
- The International Educator, Multiple Locations
- Perspectives Charter Schools, Chicago, IL
- Elementary Principal
- Forest Grove School District, Forest Grove, OR
- Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction
- Lake Forest School District 67 & 115, Lake Forest, IL