The Jetty: Timing is Everything


While in the world of school administration, as is so often the case in many parts of life, timing is crucial in making decisions. I had a colleague who approached me when I became superintendent who commented that he had one piece of advice to give me and that was “not to give immediate answers to staff who asked you a question in your travels around the district” but rather suggest they either call your office later or send you a note (now e-mail) so your answer has some reflection.

I often thought about this advice over the years and took advantage of this fine superintendent, as often I had the impulse to give an answer right away and still do for that matter but think of the caution I received and realized how right the advice turned out to be.

When you get right down to it, so much of what a school administrator decides often has so many movable pieces. A simple decision, if made in haste, can have a profound impact on others that at the moment you do not realize.

Timing is critical in launching a new initiative not to mention the process, as some great ideas go down in flames if strategically not thought out carefully or too rapidly. For a district policy change the timing must be meticulously calculated and the analysis studied from all sides of the issue.

We see so many great decisions being criticized today and upon analysis one realizes the decision was right but the timing and process was off. So, the comment to hold off on a new initiative until the timing is right makes so much

Paul – M.A.S.S.

JETTY defined as a pier or structure of stones, piles or the like, projecting into the sea or other body of water to protect a harbor and deflect the current

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