Does your school district zip along like a finely tuned Formula One race car? – SCN Encourager

If it does… share your secrets!

What you’re doing is next to impossible.

Here’s why.







In a sense, our politicians are constantly pushing us to compete against each other – annually pitting us against each other in their races to the top, so to speak.

They’ve even specified for us “the equipment” they want us and our teams to use on our educational playing fields:

• standardized funding formulas
• standardized tests
• standardized badges for our websites
• standardized evaluations
• and many other “must-haves” and “must-do’s.”

Similarly, Formula One race officials also have specified the competitive equipment they want their drivers and teams to use on the track:

• standardized engine sizes
• standardized tire guidelines
• standardized gas tank sizes
• standardized visual graphics
• and many other “must-haves” and “must-do’s.”

It’s weird to think about HOW MUCH (general governance wise) we school leaders and communicators have in common with Formula One drivers and their teams. 

We have our rule-setting officials.

They have their rule-setting officials.

And ideally, both groups of officials desire to see their own respective sets of competitors do well, agreed?

So this analogy is brilliant, if I do say so myself.

(Now… don’t try to picture one of your school colleagues in one of those colorful Formula One logo-laden, tight-fitting racing suits, though. This is where this analogy really starts breaking down.)

Because besides vast differences in our workplace attire, there is a HUGE DIFFERENCE in how our rule-making politicians and their rule-making Formula One race officials each approach their duties.

Whereas our politicians routinely enact legislative pit stops and detours one right after the other (affectionately known as mandates) for our teachers and administrators to follow in the service of our students and families ––

Formula One race officials enact their rules and then intentionally step back from churning them out so drivers and teams can efficiently plan and allocate talents and resources to do their best in the upcoming competitive season.

They know how to use the brake.

Formula One race officials realize that perpetual rule-tweaking from afar often has negative impacts on the very performance of their drivers and teams.

So they strive to enhance the success of their “aerodynamic engineering collaboratives” (their race teams) rather than weigh them down.

What a novel concept.

The two approaches are stark.

Make rules – and then keep piling on more rules
– OR –
Makes rules – and then encourage teamwork and innovation

I sure wish our politicians would shock me and give the second option more consideration.

School leaders like you are among the best drivers of change I know.

It’d be exciting to see what would happen if you were given a clear and logical rulebook to play by.

And just following a Formula One leadership model would be incredibly cool.

I already have the gear!







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