In his book, Teaching the Elephant to Dance, author Jim Belasco tells the story of Dr. Denton Cooley, the famous heart surgeon. One day Belasco followed Dr. Cooley on his rounds and, en route to the operating room, saw the doctor stop and talk to a man mopping the hallway. The two mean conversed for nearly ten minutes before the surgeon dashed into the operating room. Curious, Belasco walked over to the man with the mop and said, “That was a long conversation.” The man replied, “Yes, Dr. Cooley and I talk quite often.” Then Belasco asked, “What exactly do you do at the hospital?” The man replied, “We save lives.”
In the best organizations, there is not such thing as them and us; there is only “we”- all of us working together. In the big picture everyone has a unique roll to fill… everyone has a piece to the puzzle, everyone makes a difference. Is this the attitude in your school? If not, how can you work to make a change in your organization? How does your language with the others in the school reflect your value of them?