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Robert Jacobs

I have been thinking about this very topic these last couple of weeks.

Peter Drucker said, "One cannot do anything with what one cannot do. One cannot achieve anything with what one does not do...Appraisal must therefore aim first and foremost on bringing out what a man can do."

So to address the weakness of student learning, a principal might best be served by focusing on the strengths of the teacher. Put the teacher in the best position to maximize their strengths.

Drucker also said, "Waste as little effort as possible on improving areas of low competence." "It takes far more energy and far more work to improve from incompetence to low mediocrity that it takes to improve from first-rate performance to excellence."

Imagine if we educational managers and leaders managed and lead to our teachers' and staff's strengths to make them excellent in those areas. What impact would that have on your school and student achievement?

Drucker also said, "Nothing destroys the spirit of an organization faster the focusing on people's weaknesses rather that on their strengths, building on disabilities rather than on abilities."

If you have worked in a school that was struggling, the tendency is to fix people. To find their weaknesses and improve them, fix them, or repair them. I can tell you from experience that in most cases it doesn't work and it is very hard on both teacher and leader.

Drucker drives at the heart of this issue when he said, "The focus must be on strength..the greatest mistake it to try to build on weakness."

Blair Peterson

Why is it then that we first look at weaknesses? Is it human nature? I like what Drucker says about it taking more work and I actually think that it keeps you from seeing the strengths of the individual. I'm thinking of several issues now that I am dealing with and this is exactly the case. I'm going to force myself to break away from the weaknesses and delve into these individuals' strengths.

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