Tuesday, February 18, 2020

On a Mission or Omission?


Bias by Omission


When you type in the following search, “superintendent/ CEO resigns”, an interesting narrative begins to form.  Time after time you read about governing boards taking control of the organization because of bad administrators, corrupt superintendents, and CEOs, and unprepared professionals.  This action becomes a media frenzy and the number of media bias begins to only tell a pie slice of the story. 

Our world is complex and even more so when bound by legal agreements made between attorneys who have no interest in the two parties.  Their care:  having their name written on the paychecks to preserve what each party thought is the “right” way.  Whether it is pride, egos, power, ignorance, or possibly the core of an antiquated system in our sophisticated world, it is destroying professionals, creating greater divisions among colleagues, and families are damaged by uniformed conversations and gossip.  Who suffers, we all do. 

Let’s take Deborah Dugan, former CEO of the Recording Academy, now tarnished by the executive board's decision to “fire” her without any arbitration or opportunity to solve and protect the heart of the organization.  Then there is Liz Gilbert, a shining political advocate, “fired” by a volunteer appointed board without the opportunity to ever provide information in an investigation that resulted in a career-damaging act.  What about Lexi Cunningham, career superintendent,
https://images.app.goo.gl/WEHfQR1kp1f2HWZG7, Courtesy of Salt Lake School District, Superintendent Resigns, Board Ask to Fire 16 Principals
who was asked to fire professional educators because members of the board didn’t like them?  A shining career again damaged by a board rivalry and inability to allow professionals to do their job and not just be a “Yes” man.

Where is the American Dream for these women?  For their life, they have been told that with hard work, education, building teams that do the work of the organization that they will be protected from the harassment and grief caused by these damaging acts. 

Governing Board Preparation

Where is the preparation for these boards? The board, a group of volunteers without training prior to election or appointment, is given the ability to change the course of strategic goals without a full understanding of their roles.  They are to govern and provide oversight of the budget and policies, not act as a hammer to crush organizations and individuals who have served.  How is it then that when this long list of superintendents/ executives are being backed into the wall to only have to resign from positions that champion the mission of the organization that there is no story about all the complexities and accomplishments?  It is because we are not demanding the other side.  Our nation is at risk of losing our entrepreneurial spirit because of the rose-colored glasses we have put on to ignore this atrocity.  Children, employees, businesses, are being decimated because of this 18th century model of boards without any expertise. 

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