One of my discoveries as an educator and member of various organisations, is that of realising that the many recently arrived members of any group, purport to be the most knowledgeable about that organisation. They often reflect a ‘know it all’ attitude to institutions they join. That may be a manifestation of insecurity or uncertainty on their part; they want to prove they are up to the mark! Nevertheless the ‘don’t tell me’ brush-off that can be given is irksome.

Some believe they are saviours appointed to lead ‘their’ schools and workplaces forward, discounting and peremptorily dismissing what has gone before. As leaders, they tend to consign the history and traditions of their new organisation to the archives or waste bin. Many have the belief that those who were there before them are a threat and need to be shed as quickly as possible. ‘My way or the highway’ along with ‘you are on MY bus and if not, you are off it’ are approaches they quickly move to embed into the thinking of staff.

My hope would be that none of us ever experience such situations. Sadly, that hope is faint. We can however, ensure these sad, selfish characteristics are never a part of our professional make-up


  1. You are absolutely correct. I think the decay of the institutions is because of such ‘leadership’. What is also important to recognize is that these institutions do not die.They decay and they thrive through spreading toxicity and a pedigree of bad leadership evolves. Often the only solution is surgical. To remove bad leadership requires a lot more devotion to the institutional core belief which does not seem to exist in a world of individual benefit with a mentality of ‘what’s in it for me and for my next appointment’ in future leadership roles. In the meantime the individual, the institution and the society at large pays a heavy price for incompetent leaders.

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