Bob Dylan once sang that “The Times They Are A Changin,” and never has that been more true than today as we end a tumultuous 2012 in education in Ohio, and across the United States. Today we live in a less than perfect world, and in this world we have less than perfect eyesight. This reality creates frustration for people looking for certainty, clarity, and predictability. (Isn’t that most all of us…it is me!) Now most of us desire certainty, clarity and predictability because it makes life less complex, decision-making easier, and judgment sounder. But we rarely have this luxury.
More often than not, we live and work in the “fog of war.” The “fog of war” is a military term and is defined as the uncertainty in situational awareness experienced by participants in military operations. The term seeks to capture the uncertainty regarding one’s own capability, adversary capability, and adversary intent during an engagement, operation, or campaign.
The trick then is to be both willing and able to effectively deal with complexity and ambiguity. As a matter of fact, I’ve become convinced that the ability to work effectively in the “fog of war” is a necessary quality leaders (and teachers are most definitely leaders) must possess today. The increasing speed of change at every level, from legislature to education policy, from the family to society, from communities to nations, has nearly eliminated certainty, clarity, and predictability from our lives, and within organizations.
Worthington Schools hasn’t been immune to this rapidly changing world, thus our staff recognizes the need to carry forth our mission in this “fog of war”. We call this ability simply “Resourcefulness”. Resourcefulness is being able to effectively work in complex and fast changing realities with less than perfect information. It’s the ability to lead others through the ambiguity, uncertainty, and chaos that so often marks the world in which we work.
And finally, and most importantly, it’s the ability to successfully carry forth our mission of helping all students become college and career-ready while striving to build relationships that will have a long-term positive impact on every student and community member we touch.
“Resourcefulness!” It’s the quality we will all need in Worthington as we begin our new calendar year.