Thanks to SchoolCIO’s Ellen Ullman (editor) for sharing this edited (thank goodness) version of my wannabe tome, What CTOs SHOULD Get Fired For. You can read the edited version online at the SchoolCIO site.
An aside: A quick note about edited versions – Ellen asked me in her email, I edited a bit because they are very long! Hope you’re ok with my cuts … and my first thought was, “Darn, editors ALWAYS edit and change things around. That’s why I like blog entries.” But then, upon further reflection, I realized that editors are usually in sync with their particular target audience. Where I am writing for myself, they may be editing a piece to give it a particular slant or angle that makes it engaging for a specific audience. To that end, the editing itself helps provide me with insight into what’s readable from the editor’s perspective.
When I reflect on the process I went through compiling this list of what CTOs should get fired for, I simply asked myself what behaviors had I observed school districts that demonstrated these. To ensure there is no confusion, so that no one district I’ve visited feels singled out, be aware that I mined years of experience to come up with examples. Then, realizing that the examples would provide too much context that would single out CTOs, I decided to ask what specific lesson each example had taught me.
Believe it or not, there’s a story that goes with each lesson. And, some stories taught more than one lesson. It can be a dangerous road to generalize from personal experience, even that of other’s. You have to step back from your emotional investment–after acknowledging it exists, and how deeply it has influenced you–and ask questions like the following:
- What can I learn about my actions in this environment?
- What lessons, if any, can this situation teach me about how not to act if I were in that person’s role?
- What lessons, if any, can this situation teach me about how to act and interact with others if I were in that person’s role?
- What could I share of this experience, as well as my own insights, that would be helpful to others?