Leaders build.  They do not cause others to remain stagnant in the name of comfort.  They definitely do not lead others to regress.  No.  Leaders build.  They propel us forward – whether it be organizations, businesses, countries, or schools.

The foundational building block of leaders is hope.  There must be something that leaders offer those they lead that promises better days ahead.  This cannot be false hope – it must be real. 

Having hope requires us to look at what is in front of us and seeing what it can reasonably become with some nudging and reshaping. 

It is vitally important for a school board member to be hopeful.  For me, I have much hope in the progressive reforms our district has initiated in the past year and a half.  I’m particularly thrilled that a culture of healthy decision making – with teachers being empowered and respected, centered around district initiatives focused on student success – has been planted in our district.  Research and common sense both point to the fact that such a culture will allow student success to grow.  This gives us all real reason to hope.

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