The Sharing Revolution Redux (Valuing a Process over an End Product)

A few weeks ago, I was interviewed for a new posting.   Taking a page from Chris Kennedy, Superintendent of West Vancouver, I tweeted the posed question to about 75 of my PLN asking them for feedback.

Although I went through two interviews and in the end was unsuccessful, I count myself extremely fortunate to have had this opportunity to hear and learn from some of the most thoughtful and inspiring educators from within BC and around North America.

I welcome you to read their comments/advice and to file it away as a source for sound leadership and, at minimum, to help you with any future interviews you may have.

In terms of my response to the set question, I will share it with all of you by the end of the week.

Below is the original message I sent and the aforementioned responses/dialogue.  Again, thank you for all of your support and well wishes.


Hello everyone

Thank you so much for participating and helping me out.

I have been shortlisted for a District position and I am seeking your insight around the pre-set question and, based upon the job description, some advice around my interview prep.

A few months ago, Chris Kennedy posted what I consider to be a seminal piece entitled A Recipient in the Sharing Revolution.   My comments on his post, drawing upon Gardner’s “Five Minds for the 21st Century,” will give you an idea of the thoughts behind how I am framing my approach to the pre-set question.

If you would like to have a feel for what I believe, going into this interview, here are three posts which capture some of my thoughts:

Leading Change – An Open Letter to My Colleagues and all Engaged

Caution: Distractible Professionals in an Age of Engagement

Ever Expanding Horizons of Possibility: The Leaders We Need Now

The job description for the position:

  • an outstanding educational leader with demonstrated problem-solving, organizational and management skills;
  • is an exceptional communicator including through the use of social media;
  • demonstrates integrity, a strong work ethic, and a highly collaborative leadership style;
  • develops and maintains effective relationships with parents, students and employee groups at all levels of the organization;
  • is very familiar with the use of technology for teaching and learning; and
  • has considerable knowledge of current trends in education especially related to personalized 21st century learning.

The pre-set question which I am writing to you for feedback is as follows:

Leadership is as much about judgment as it is about knowledge.

In your experience as a leader of adults at the school level and beyond, please think of a situation that required careful judgment in the midst of a complex scenario. What was the leadership challenge, what values or knowledge guided you and what were some obstacles to consider?

Thank you for helping – I hope that the responses here will serve to stimulate you as well as help me shape my own thoughts.

Sincerely,

Gino

49 Comments
  1. Hey Gino,

    Thanks for the invite to participate. I would be happy to read and reflect on the material and provide some thoughts. Great question to work from. When is your interview?

    Cheers,
    Brad

    • Interview on Wednesday but I want to start putting everything together tomorrow afternoon.
      Thanks for offering to share your thoughts

  2. No need to await the responses…just this background material (specifically your three earlier posts) is stimulating reading. As for a “situation that required careful judgment in the midst of a complex scenario…”, that will require some thought.

    • Peter, if I could give them these three posts in lieu of an interview, I’d probably save the 10 years I’m losing right now in anxiety!
      Thanks for the affirmation

  3. This question reminds me of the work Kohlberg did to develop his moral stages where the type of response was more important than the content of the response.

    What I see is that your answer itself is not critical, but what is critical is the type of framework you use to answer the question. So in other words, they are probably looking for a type of leadership rather than an interesting story.

    Sergiovanni (see http://cnx.org/content/m12924/latest/) discusses the idea of servant leadership, which is a model which I think fits your style. So it might be good to find an example which exemplifies this.

    They are also specifically looking for an example as a “leader of adults” rather than dealing with your relationships with your students. This suggests to me that they may be evaluating your response in the context of the union, the school contract, and the idealogical beliefs of the VSB.

    Your story probably doesn’t need to be something which was resolved immediately. Perhaps there is a situation with which you dealt which maybe happened over a series of weeks?

    In terms of knowledge guiding you, I would think of some relevant leadership theorists who fit your style of leadership, and refer to their work as knowledge. Obviously you should also talk about the knowledge and experience you have gained through leadership.

    If I think of anything, I’ll be sure to share. Good luck with this position Gino.

    • Thanks David
      “Leader of Adults” sometimes, with what we have to do, it feels more like the biblical “leader of fishermen”
      Thanks for the Sergiovanni link and I like the suggestion about an open ended story that does not have a “clean” resolution in terms of time.

  4. This is “from the heart” kind of stuff, Gino. It’s about what you believe rather than what you know. Be clear about your moral purpose, what guides you, where your priorities direct you. As you present the scenario that challenged you, and specifically the obstacles that caused you to question your values, shed some light on how you reflected and were responsive without compromising your core beliefs. Appreciate you reaching out to others for thoughts, and best wishes in your pursuit of this position.

    • Moral purpose without compromising my core beliefs. Beautiful Tom – this is why I love reading your blog.
      Thanks again

  5. First congrats on the interview! Second, this is a great method of showing that, “you are an exceptional communicator through social media.” 🙂

    My only real advice is to be genuine in your response and to tell a good story. Here’s my opinion as to how to do that:

    Talk about how the situation made you feel (again use real emotion) and what it made you think. Talk about how you think it made others feel or think. Spend time explaining your thought process in resolving the situation. Talk about what you didn’t choose to do and why. Be sure to explain how the situation changed you and the way you approached things. In hindsight if you would have handled it differently explain that too.
    Also, be sure you still have your audience. Even really smart, nice, good, serious, academic people have very short attention spans.

    good luck!

    • Katie, you’ve hit upon two points:
      1. In explaining my thought process, what I didn’t choose and why
      2. How the situation changed me
      I will try to be as genuine as possible (and try to retain my audience)
      Thanks for the help

  6. Three things that I would highlight… The challenge described should be about taking risks for kids, whether this is directly through a student or helping a teacher do the same. The idea that leading is easier as a task to avoid mistakes instead of an act of making tough decisions, and finally that you are a leader willing to fail in lieu of just existing in mediocrity. Hope these thoughts help.

    • Thanks Bob
      Trying to stay calm right now in that interviews make me ‘crazy.’ I smiled at your last line:
      “I’m willing to fail instead of existing in mediocrity” – So, I think I’ll stand up in the end and repeat that line followed by, “Now, let’s go storm the Bastille together.” 🙂

      Bob, absolutely dead on about the kids – even though the question is about leading adults, it’s about leading them in the service of our students.
      Will let you know how it goes.

  7. I am a firm believer in the “thinking is linking – only connect” philosophy, partially attributed to E M Forster in “Howards End”. You have a veritable mass of material in your three postings, and in your head, too. I would encourage you to choose a scenario where, for example, the challenge of leading adults (the pre-set question) occurred in a situation linked to the 6th job descriptor (“has considerable knowledge of current trends in education especially related to personalized 21st century learning”). This is the stock-in-trade of any leader today (so your interviewers will readily understand): you are well-grounded in the values & knowledge, yet there were undoubtedly obstacles, as always to any proposed change. And don’t look to resolve all issues (see David above): education is a messy business, abounding in loose ends!
    Good luck, and keep us posted

    • Hi Mike

      Count on you to bring Forster to the fore! Thinking is indeed linking – and I will talk about this re: social media. Forster’s words are even more relevant today in that it’s not about the tech toy as the medium but what it can do to help establish networks beyond the exclusive 4 wall domain. The connect is now limitless in possibilities.

      I love your last line about loose ends abounding in the messy business that is education. Getting comfortable with the chaos (or perhaps managing it to allow students to discover their strenghts within it) is and will be a key point in education (and Vancouver) for the next ‘little while.’

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts – knew I could trust on my old high school administrator!

  8. Hey Gino!

    This is a terrific question; it brings the element of past practices predicating future successes. For these types of questions, often times the best examples come from moral dillema-type situations that we are confronted with on a regular basis in our schools. They tend to involve multiple partner groups, and require moral courage to make the right decision. There are always instructional practices that we have to confront or changes that have to be made. They may be around assessment, reporting, dealing with student responsibility or social responsibility. I am guessing that you may have had these very type of issues.

    I thought I might jot down some questions that might help you think of that example. These are just musings, but I am thinking of a situation that I had to work through at my school around assessment four years ago, specifically how I worked through the “late marks and zeroes” issue at our school. It was incredibly complex, involved all stakeholders, questioned tradition, challenged conventional thinking, had an extensive research base that flew in the face of what people ‘knew to be right’, involved union contracts, district policy, contravened our core mission, and kept me awake for more than one night. So, here goes…

    What is that example that you have had that ‘kept you awake’ for a few nights thinking about it?

    Why did it keep you awake? Was there a moral dilemma (a sort of Rushworth Kidder ‘individual versus community’ or ‘justice versus mercy’ style issue)? Was it a ‘knowing-doing gap’ sort of issue where we know what good practice looks like but we just haven’t confronted the less effective practice? Was it trying to implement a change that you knew to be correct, but that there was extensive resistance from multiple stakeholders?

    Did you turn to anyone to get counsel in this situation? Who? Why did you choose them?

    What was the guiding principle that needed to be drawn upon? A mission statement? A set of values or core beliefs?

    How did you clarify the issue? How did you gain a perspective or gather input from each of the stakeholders involved so their thoughts could be honored when the time came to make a decision?

    What data was pertinent to collect? Why was it pertinent? What was the relevant research applicable to the situation? Were there salient examples from similar contexts that could help clarify the issue?

    Once you had the relevant information, how did you organize your thoughts to present this issue in a problem-solving approach so that you could create a sense of understanding of the present situation, a sense of urgency for why a change needed to be made, and a sense of inquiry so that everyone could share in the issue and the solution?

    How did you formulate your draft action plan? How did you involve the different players in the plan so that their past efforts and practices could be recognized but still move forward in the direction that you needed to go?

    How did it go? What mechanisms did you put in place to help you reflect on that situation after the plan was operationalized so that improvements on the process could be made?

    And in each of these steps, were you able to use 21st Century Learning techniques in collaboration, communication, critical thinking, problem-solving creativity and innovation, etc. and perhaps involving web tools to help you do these things?

    Gino, when I read your posts, I see a committed and articulate administrator who is grounded in what is best for students. I know that you will come up with an example that is very personal to you that will demonstrate how you used your tremendous creativity and transformative leadership to make a positive change for your school and community. I hope this (non-exhaustive) list of questions might help you to clarify that situation.

    All the best.

    • Cale, wow! what a response

      Your first sentence captures the whole thing, thematically: past practices predicating future sucesses.

      The questions you throw out are really going to help me frame my response: the moral imperative behind my judgment, the importance of inclusion, living the values and core beliefs of the community, data driven rationale, organizing the plethora of information, formulating a plan, “check in” plans and embedding 21st Century Learning techniques to help “accelerate and not exacerbate” (wow, off the cuff, I think I’m going to use this statement!) the process.

      My problem now is that I’ve got a ton of thoughts and ideas and I’m trying to figure out where to start and what to prepare for the rest of the interview: script questions? key beliefs that I can integrate into all questions? Oh, well – I’ll just have to resign myself to the fact that I’m going to drive my wife crazy this weekend 🙂
      Thanks again, Cale: you are a leader in every sense of the word.

  9. Gino, thanks for the invite to help. I wish I had responded earlier as the people who have before me have already provided excellent advice so I need to dig deeper… My comments will be from a District leadership role perspective. In reading the pre-set question, I see the first statement setting the context for the question or scenario: “Leadership is as much about judgment as it is about knowledge”.

    Perhaps you could share an example where you were at a loss for how to proceed (be transparent about why). IE, you didn’t have the answers within you but through the people and relationships you’ve nurtured, and from people you don’t know using social networks etc., you were able to acquire new knowledge, perspective, and considerations that you could synthesize into your own judgment for the situation at hand. In doing so, you had to be honest with yourself, humble, and accept that you don’t know everything. You demonstrated your ability to learn just in time from others, to increase your knowledge and improve your ability to use good judgment in grey situation.

    Kind-of like you’re doing right now by inviting people you know personally or through social networks, to help you with this process… well done and all the best!

    • Thanks Brian
      I appreciate the District leadership perspective: kind of feels like the Peter Falk, “Columbo” approach 🙂

      For me the key you write of is the “relationships you’ve nurtured” which allows you to acquire new knowledge, perspective and considerations.
      Just as Gardner talks of discipline-synthesis-creation so too does this question lead to appreciation (discovery)- innovation (dreaming) – co-construction (designing) – sustaining (destiny)
      What I need to embed within this construct is that messy bit which makes our job so rewarding: the human/personal element.

      Brian, thanks so much for your thoughts – as you can see they’ve propelled me forward in my thinking about framing my question.

  10. Hi Gino! Congrats on the interview.
    I don’t think I can say it any better than Cale did. The process, strategy and plan you outline that includes all stakeholders is the important part. Given the emphasis on 21st Century Learning and Social Media, mentioning how you incorporated these skills into your process would be likely help. At the end of the day, the crucial part of the decision making has to come back to the student(s), their well-being and their learning.

    Best of luck!

    Aaron

  11. Hi Gino,

    While the answer to the question is important, sharing the process you are using to get to the answer may be more important – it models the qualities that the VSB is looking for in a candidate. I would be sure to take ample time to outline the “how” of coming to your “answer” as much as the “what” of your answer – it speaks to the type of leader you are and would be in this new position.

    It sould like a great position that is being created. Your network has your back!

    • Chris, sage advice.
      I like the “how” I came to my answer as at least half of my response. Cale has given me provided me with great direction around how to frame the “what”.
      I’ve got a great idea about what the “how” will look like – very outside of the box – will let you know.
      Thanks so much for your inspiration – and the covering of my back!

  12. Wow, feel a little late to the party following Birk’s response… well said Cale!

    Congrats on the new challenge.

    A few authors/educators that have guided my thinking are Nel Noddings and Maxine Greene. I had the opportunity to read and discuss their work during my master’s and Noddings “ethic of care” and Greene’s “wide awakeness” have really helped me as a leader. Whether I am dealing with challenging situations with parents, children, or staff, I feel that is tough to argue with someone who takes risks for students and people based on being “wide awake” to the situation and always making decision based on that “ethic of care”. Policies and procedures guide us but it is though leading with care that we truly help the people we work with.

    Your posts often make me move deeper in my thinking and I don’t think I can make you do the same (I often feel you are a bit further on the reflective spectrum than I) so I will encourage you to step back and keep things simple. Challenge people to lead and teach with an ethic of care and be wide awake and reflect on whether the practices we have best supports the people we work with.

    I look forward to hearing more about your journey.

    • Chris, I think your underselling yourself in that your comments have indeed “moved me deeper in my thinking.” I really like the use of Noddings and Greene and especially like how this ties in with best practice and supporting those we work with.
      A nice piece through which to filter a response.
      Thank you so much for your contribution

  13. Hi Gino

    Sounds like an awesome job!

    Others have added some interesting thoughts, so hopefully mine add something of value. I’ll focus on 2 aspects. One, my experience working in HR and conducting interviews. The second is on managing change in a multi-stakeholder environment.

    1. Here’s my input on the process of an interview:
    Most recruiters use behaviour-based style – it often includes the phrase “tell me about a time…” So, if you have stories that showcase your leadership judgement, that is what they want to hear. I would say that in this situation, if I were you, I would tell stories that show various facets of my leadership experience. Sometimes you learn from bad judgments/failures and sometimes you learn from others. I’d also think about questions they would ask following this one. You can also tell them about your reflective process. Maybe you asked yourself: “if this happened again, would I do the same thing or something different (and why)”. How do others describe me as a leader? Could I describe my decision-making style. The one thing that I would encourage you to remember is BE AUTHENTIC. So, demonstrate your authenticity: show your human side. Think about how you deliver your answer. Make eye contact, lean in, ask them questions, engage them in the conversation. How you answer is equally as important as what you answer.

    One of the jobs I got was because I told them that I had tried something and it failed miserably, but they liked the answer I gave about what I did after it failed and that I wasn’t afraid to say I failed but was just myself.

    2. This job sounds like it is managing multiple stakeholders, so stories that you tell might not be from current work. Maybe it is as a volunteer in a community project or a committee head or something else. I’m reading into the job description thinking that what they want is someone who can elicit input and perspectives from a variety of groups and keep lines of communication open and they want to know you can INFLUENCE them (authentically of course).

    Good luck! And thanks for asking me to contribute…Holly

    • Hi Holly
      Thank you for the key ‘tips’ on the science of the interview itself.
      I apppreciate the premise of being authentic through the power of narrative. I will surely be leaning in and retelling stories that will showcase my leadership judgement.
      Thanks for the feedback

  14. Gino…so many good pieces of advice but I think your actions in this case, already speak louder than words.

    By using social media to branch out; to extend your resource base …you have demonstrated that willingness to take risks which is so valuable and so important to utilize when leading by example. Much like @chrkennedy when interviewed for his present post as Superintendent in WVSD#45; he sought the input of many to shape his reponse to a pivotal interview question. This is an illustration of not only risk taking but that ‘seek to understand’ perspective that considers the context of the stakeholders around you before acting…something so valuable in leadership when navigating the ever changing landscape of 21st Century learning and leadership.

    The second piece of advice….that has already been given above but rings true is that regarding your core values and what drives you each day in your professional and personal relationships.

    At the end of the day, with tech or no tech, relationships and trust are still what will drive change. Those core values will be what drive those decisions. It is important to communicate how anchored you are to your own core values and how they will provide you with direction when uncertainty seems to reign.

    Best of luck…you’ll rock it.
    AC

    • Aron, you are dead on about social media and the willingness to take risks.
      It really isn’t about the tools it’s about the relationships created through them within a core belief that you lead with and not through your educational partners.

      You’ve got me thinking about two points:
      1. 21C Learning is not a goal but a process of enngagement around a moral purpose and identity
      2. My belief that the quality of any decision is directly proportional to the quality of dialogue and debate.

      Thanks for contributing

  15. Hi Gino,

    Thanks for including me in your PLN reach out for ideas. As a number have said before me, you are showing true leadership in the use of social media by calling out for others’ views. I wouldn’t be surprised if the interview team already knows about your approach before Wednesday!

    This is a great way to show your collaborative approach and that you have strong relationships with many parties … world wide.

    The trouble with being the umpteenth person to respond is that it is hard to find different good advice to what has already been said.

    That said, using the values and views from your three blog posts, while highlighting a scenario of collaborative judgment, where you were challenged to keep the students at the heart of the decision would be my small addition.

    Best of luck and I look forward to hearing about how the interview goes.

    Ted

  16. Gino

    I think someone mentioned “being late to the party” already. I feel like I’ve arrived for the clean up! I am not sure that I can add any more and be of assistance to you however I do agree whole heartedly Chris Kennedy. You need to tell the story of how you have enabled a group of professionals to share their thoughts for your interview. Unpack this story and drill down.

    I really appreciate being given the opportunity to share – thank you for the invite

    Good luck!

    • Thanks for contributing, Johnny
      I hope that the responses have helped you in terms of your own thinking as well – the real point of this sharing revolution is that everyone wins, everyone to some degree gets “enlightened” through the conversation.
      I like to think that we are imagining other ways of being by addressing the fullness of our reality vis a vis social media.

  17. Hey Gino, thanks for the invite on this. Wonderful idea and likely something to share in the “how” as Chris mentioned. I’ll try to be brief as there is lots here!

    Leadership and Management are related but also can be diametrically opposed in some cases. Applying leadership or applying management can both lead to Right vs Right decisions. Knowing where to apply which or the measures of both are things that keep me up at night. Your core values will help you in these as well as relationships that you have with the people in your learning community. Sometimes the relationships will be beneficial to help you come to an answer, other times they will be helpful when you have to make a management decision which will require some understanding from members of your community.

    Social networking piece looks well in hand, do celebrate your connections. The commenting on this post is a wonderful example!

    Be transparent and share your successes and failures. Share your reflections on them and help everyone grow. I feel I moved dramatically in my teaching and learning when I embraced the response to difficult student questions by saying, “I don’t know, but lets figure it out together.”

    I’ve mentioned relationships and they are key as relationships between learning community members are a root cause in everyone’s success.

    Hope that gives you some thoughts and best of luck on the interview!
    Jarrod

    • Jarrod
      Thanks for contributing to the discussion.
      I really like your differentation between leadership and management but that successful stewardship in each domain is predicated on the relationships established: relationships really are the primary medium for success.

  18. Wow, I have learned a lot just reading the responses. I hope this page stays open to come back to and read again. I think I need to re-examine some of the things people said but alas I promised I would respond tonight. I do feel a bit like Ted and I am not sure I can add much.

    Much of my experience is in the area of mathematics education which seems to have its unique experience and challenges, not to mention beliefs. The number of people I have heard say they can not do math is staggering … at the same time they use it everyday … would these same people say they can not “do leadership” when many of them are in leadership positions. I wonder … are we all leaders just in different ways just as we are mathematicians.

    Now to your question … I think core beliefs and values need to be your guide. While I think we all have them I am not sure we all know what our are. In education I think this is important to know what our beliefs are especially with the way the world is changing as this may be the only filter we have for decision making.

    I also think that our values and beliefs are challenged like never before as the “small town” of just a few years ago is now global and we are exposed to a diversity of opinions and perspectives. At the same time I find that all of these views have not changed what I believe “down deep.” I will admit that my beliefs may be more refined but I do not think they have significantly changed. I do believe that all students can learn and that I am a student. This has allowed me to learn from those who many would not consider teachers. Indeed their differing perspectives have taught me more than those who thought as I do. Is this not the same for leadership … I wonder …

    All of that being said I think we live in an exciting time where there are opportunities to call upon a multitude of people to add to the conversation. Perhaps the real test is developing the right “filter” for interpreting the information.

    Good luck on the position and I hope this helps some. Sounds like you are an awesome candidate for the position.

    • Thanks for the contribution, Richard.
      As soon as I have my phone interview on Wednesday (I’m going to the iGeneration Conference in San Francisco and so will have to do my interview while waiting to board my flight) I will open the page to the public (and post it on twitter).
      I like your point about the filter: it really is not about information overload but about filter failure. Perhaps the biggest part of leadership today is managing all of this information – search light intelligence, really.
      Your support is also greatly appreciated 🙂

  19. Hi Gino!

    The advice given already is pretty solid. I say when you sit down and think of one question at a time see what your heart says. Go with your gutt, especially on the first one. These questions want to test your instinct and your true reflection so make sure that when you think of a situation it is one that really got to you because in the interview that will come across. We tend to show our personality when we speak about reflections that impacted us and that will differentiate you from the other candidates. Other candidates may go with the safe call but go where your passion lies. I hope this might help you. I recently interviewed Akevy Greenblatt, a principal, and I enjoyed his answers and spirit, http://teacherbootcamp.edublogs.org/2011/01/22/leading-by-example-teacher-evaluations-interview-with-akevy-greenblatt/

    • Instinct, true reflection and straight from the heart: all necessary traits of a great leader.
      My problem, perhaps, is that I won’t play it safe “enough” – but I am a passionate person and I can’t interview any other way than this.
      And, thanks so much for the link to the interviews – I really admire Akevy and read (and comment on) his blog regularly.
      Thanks for contributing – greatly appreciated

  20. Hi Gino, congratulations on the opportunity–sounds like a perfect fit for you.

    Thanks for inviting me to this exciting process; I have learned a lot myself just getting to this stage.

    I know it’s fast approaching and you’ve already got a tonne of great info and advice here, so the only thing I will add is this:

    Don’t be afraid to use as your example a situation in which you DIDN’T make the best call and/or the situation didn’t necessarily turn out that well–at least not at first. Being able to look back critically at situations and ask, “what could I have done differently”? is an undervalued skill in great leadership.

    • Thanks Jason
      Learning from one’s mistakes – perhaps one of the most under used types of examples at interviews.
      I’ve made a tonne of them so I’ve got lots of learning to share!
      I will be using a “what could I have done differently” scenario in my answer.

  21. Hi Gino,
    An impressive array of responses. When I read the question and the responses a few thoughts come to mind.
    1) which authors/thinkers have inspired you and why- what was the change that you made to your practice based on these readings.
    2) when I think of the leaders in my district I think about their approachability. When have you stayed late, mentored someone other than a student teacher, what impact did it have on your teaching, how did that relationship help both of your teaching abilities.
    3) When you have struggled with a decision, who have you gone to and what was it that they did for you? What was the end result? How did it impact you in your future dealings with others when they came to you?
    4) When you are having a philosophical discussion with someone about pedagogy and what they are saying is sending shivers up your spine, how do you help guide them to see the light while allowing them to maintain their dignity and pride?
    5) what circumstances have you had to stand firm as your moral compass was going into overdrive and you had to have an unpleasant conversation?

    Just a few thoughts to add to the drink mix

    • Remi, some thought provoking questions.
      Approachability, openness to reflective criticism offered by others, difficult conversations which do not compromise anyone’s dignity or self-worth, and maintaining one’s moral compass.
      Fantastic points that are all extremely valuable leadership capacities.
      Thanks for sharing all of this with me.

  22. First of all, congrats on this interview Gino! I am sure that you will be fabulous in this position.

    I am sure that they are looking for you to describe a scenario that did not have an easy or an obvious solution. In your description, I would agree that communicating a sense of sincerity and honesty would be important. In any storytelling scenario, you should be as genuine as possible.

    I think that given time and ample opportunity to speak with colleagues and all parties involved would produce the best solution possible – but realistically, this doesn’t always happen. Sometimes you are thrust into a situation that needs dealing with immediately – so perhaps they would like an idea about how you can “think on your feet.” Going through your thought process will be important, as well as acknowledging anything that you would do differently next time, or anything that became clearer in retrospect.

    They are probably looking for someone that will be a great leader for the other staff and a great representative to clients/students, parents and the public. They will want an idea about the values that you hold important, and how they translate into dealing with people. Your core beliefs should resonate within the description of how you dealt with your situation.

    Your network is an invaluable tool and collaboration with your colleagues near and far cannot fail to impress – this whole feedback example is just the beginning. 🙂

    Good luck, Gino! I hope that you will let us know how it goes!
    Get a good sleep tonight,
    Elaan

    • Thanks for the feedback Elaan.
      Communicating a sense of honesty and sincerity – so important in the boardroom and in the classroom.

  23. Gino,

    I am so late to “the party” that any substance I might have offered has either been noted by others or would be too late to be of use to you in the eleventh hour. I hope the little I can add (with a flu-muddled brain) might move you into the final hours of pre-interview clarity.

    Your passion and forward-thinking are evident in every conversation. You will communicate this like breathing. (Remember to breathe. And speak slower than your brain might want you to go… 🙂

    Jarrod Bell mentioned Leadership and Management in his response. The first part of the question expresses a search for that balance. Whatever example you choose in response to the question, cover both aspects.This will create an impression of balance not only between leadership and management, but also between thinking and doing, vision and practice, ideas and experience -yin and yang.

    David Wees noted that the question asks for your experience as a “leader of adults”. I agree that this is a very important clue to what is being looked for in this position and the example you choose in your response.

    I hope these little points of focus help you find your stride. Good luck tomorrow! Break an iPhone…

  24. Hey Gino–wow! Love the previous posts–some real heavyweights in the list. Tom Altepeter’s comments resonate the most with me. Reminds me of the phrase “they don’t want the best person, they want the best person for the position.” I realize now that your interview is tomorrow so I won’t try to offer any new points.

    Anytime a team bolsters its roster it has to be in context of current admin, players, and timing. As a result, I would focus on the timing of your application. Why is NOW the best time for you? For them? How can you display that the best time for your contributions to the position is now–not next year, not last year, now. (You can even say something like: “next year is too late, last year the “problem” wasn’t clearly understood, now is the ideal time to make a clear choice to address this. “) I like it when I can get a immediate sense of the “value-added” when dealing with people. Once you gather enough information from the interview, say you determine a critical issue, then you can outline how you can meet that challenge–immediately.

    If you can demonstrate that you can honestly and seemlessly connect with them, then I’m sure they will comprehend your ability to connect with others. Everyday there are victories, and a leader who celebrates those while training to mitigate the defeats will be a pleasure to work with, from top-to-bottom.

    Best of luck, buona fortuna!

  25. I know this is after the fact and I apologize. So little time to sit down and read in depth messages that extend into the evening! Please let us know how the interview went for you and what your learning outcomes were in this experience. You obviously have what it takes for great leadership. Your vision, values, and teaching/learning communications are clear and exemplary. One finding that I’m sure we’ve all experienced in life, is that it isn’t always what you know, it is often who you know. I hope you were able to go face to face with the right person and demonstrate your skills! Keep us posted. Lor

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