Leadership Is About Enabling Others To Be Great!

This seemed like a timely article as Jeffco Schools looks for its new Leader.

“Leadership isn’t about being great. It’s about enabling others to be great.”

By David McQueen of #TheLeadershipProject


Here are the highlights, a link to the entire article is at the bottom:

“Believe in the possibility of people.”  

This is especially important because Jeffco Schools is a people organization. Over 80% of our budget goes toward staff. Jeffco is the largest employer in Jefferson County with over 12,000 employees.

“As a leader… create an organic environment that it is enjoyable to be in, that fuels others passion to make a difference and gets people excited to come in to work and succeed.

“Leaders set the tone…”

Over the last few years, our staff have taken a beating. Teachers have been referred to (and sometimes treated) as “thugs”, yet we continue to ask them to do more with less. Budget constraints make for difficult situations in our schools and in our administrative building. If we can’t offer the top salary in the metro area, then we need to provide our people with other incentives for wanting to be here. The right leader will know what that is and how to make that happen.


“We have to know what we stand for and be prepared to remember this in the face of challenges…Those that stand for everything, stand for nothing.”

“Those that change their position consistently confuse others and this damages morale.”

Certainly, there will be some tough decisions ahead as the district continues to navigate the current budget situation. District morale needs a shot in the arm, not more confusion.

“Humility and Vulnerability”

“When things go wrong, weak leaders blame others…

“It is a sign of strength, not weakness in asking for guidance and support…when the teams wins, victory should be about your people…”

Jeffco needs a leader who understands the buck stops here. Appreciate and value the expertise we have in key staff positions as we acknowledge team wins. Whenever Jeffco does well, it is a team win.


“When things go wrong, understand why, yet don’t dwell on it… focus on how you will ensure you won’t make the same mistakes, or how you can learn from this…”

Our Jeffco School District has proven itself to be resilient. We have weathered some powerful storms over the last several years – extreme budget cuts, board of education recalls, lax leadership.   As we move forward, we will need to survive more rough times (not because of who we are, but because that is the current state of public education in our nation and state). We can do it, and do it well, with a leader who understands, is patient and learns from past mistakes.


“When you have tough conversations, have them with integrity and honesty…”

Is there any leadership trait more important? Jeffco needs and wants a leader we can all look up to. Someone who has high standards and applies those standards to himself/herself first. When they speak, they will be representing all of us.