This is a personal post in memory of my father Jim Cardus – my leadership hero.
My father Jim Cardus died May 27, 2006…he was an educational leader for over 30 years. At his funeral, I heard amazing stories about him, stories he never told me. What stood out about my fathers leadership was the small things he did for people;
- Walking a young girl to the nurse for a band-aid when she fell off the swing
- Greeting students and staff every morning at the front door
- Consistently listening to all staff members
- Learning the names of all staff members
- Knowing everyone’s birthday
- Personally giving each child a pencil on their birthday
- Having a collection of Mickey Mouse Memorabilia that the students could play with
- When evaluating staff, he co-developed solutions to enhance teaching and performance
My father had the necessary competence and respect for personhood that it takes to be a fantastic leader.
Teachers were coming to me at the funeral saying things like “Your father was the best principal I have ever worked for, once he left the school things have sucked.”
When he died no-one spoke about how much he raised the average reading and math competency scores (which he did, and he was proud to tell you by how much) how much he cut from the budget to keep the school functioning (which he did, and he shared with me the struggles of having to do that) and the many other things he accomplished.
When you die (or just leave where you work now) how will you be remembered?
- With a parade and a garden…OR…
- “I’m glad that son of a bitch is gone!”
I hope that like the article below, about my father states “He had a vision for this building” and “No question was ever too small.” That the people you managed & lead respect and love you; because they know you respected and loved them.
- To enlarge click on the photo