It’s one of my favorite days of the summer. On Tuesday the Nordonia High School administrative team (@CaseyGWright, @kltann and @dwbrom) and I will stop at the grocery store, buy 150 Popsicles, and take them to our kids at Band Camp.
We want the band to know how much we support them and how important they are to the district. A high school band is one of the greatest ambassadors for a school, and they are not always given the appreciation they deserve for the spirit they bring to games, parades, and other community events.
And quite honestly, the gratitude and support the band kids and parents show us is amazing, simply because we do something a little unexpected like buying them Popsicles. We might spend about $50 out of our pockets, but the return we get in terms of trust and positive relationships is priceless.
My advice to new administrators everywhere is this: don’t underestimate the power of the Popsicle. The most successful leaders are those that do the unexpected.
In his book The Greatest Miracle in the World, Og Mandino wrote, “The only certain means of success is to render more and better service than is expected of you, no matter what your task may be.”
People expect school administrators to be at the Friday night football game. They don’t expect them to bring Popsicles to band camp. Or go to the bowling team’s match or the Mock Trial team’s performance.
People expect school administrators to return phone calls and emails within 24 hours. They don’t expect to receive a phone call within five minutes of emailing a concern to an administrator on Christmas Eve. They will likely say, “I didn’t realize you were working today.” And your response will be, “I’m not. I’m home with my family celebrating the holiday. But you have a concern that is bothering you and I want to help.”
It takes a ton of work, and a ton of time. But if you are a new administrator who can find ways to render more and better service than is expected of you, you are much more likely to build trust and relationships with the community that will help insure your success.