On Friday we will release the 50th episode of The Assistant Principal Podcast! To celebrate, we have chosen five of our favorite moments to share with you this week. Part of what makes these moments powerful is that they transcend education and are applicable to all leaders. We hope you enjoy the series!
E26 Courage with Dr. Mary Hemphill
MVP: Know your ethical line in the sand before ethical situations arise, not during.
Dr. Hemphill is the Chief Academic Officer for the North Carolina Department of Education. We talked about being courageous as a leader and acting on your values.
“When you are an Assistant Principal, and particularly when you become a Principal, you have to decide before you sign your contract, you have to decide before you interview, what hill you do you want to die on, what do you want to fight for, because when you are in a moment with a parent, or a board member, or a superintendent, that is not the time to make those decisions.”
We think about critical ethical decisions being made in the face of a challenging situation, but Mary rightly reminds us that we usually make our ethical choices before the actual events ever unfold. I council people to be themselves in interviews and to put their values on display. Being authentic in an interview makes it much easier to be authentic in the job. On the other hand, if you are willing to bury your values in the interview, you will most certainly bury them in the job.