“If you want to make enemies, try to change something.” –Woodrow Wilson
That is a powerful quote, and one that endears itself to my worldview. Leaders make decisions, change agents make decisions, Followers make decisions, and even Passive existence folk make decisions. By now, it’s understood that there are winners and losers in each judgment and some people will not like it and may tell you to your face or go behind your back to change the outcome. A certain level of maturity (Grown Man) recognizes this fact and does not dissuade a leader from making these tough calls when armed with the facts and information needed to make winning choices. Teachers make decisions in the classroom continuously regarding the syllabus, lesson plans, discipline, parent interaction, pupil collaboration, and the bosses. I feel you do what is in the best interest of the child, even if they do not appreciate it now (and probably will not). In the enterprise, there are financial, regulatory, and stakeholder considerations in addition to the aforementioned; the corporation’s best interest is at stake here.
Charlotte, not unlike most areas, have scion type old money and influence families with an eye for city direction, control, leadership, and steering. The name Belk is synonymous with that. Back in 1888, William Henry Belk opens his first store in Monroe, NC (25 mi SE of here) with $750 in savings, a $500 loan, and $3,000 worth of goods taken on consignment. He convinces his brother, Dr. John Belk, to join as his partner. The business flourishes, often through store partnerships with trusted businesspersons in the Southeast (“About Us — belk.com — Belk.com,” 2013, para. 2). Later on, the Belk Foundation established in 1928 by Dr. John Belk (a freeway is named after him here as well) and later by William H Belk after their deaths, have committed themselves to improving education in their communities. The latest example is a large grant for CMS to expand and solidify Opportunity Culture models in more classrooms with base and consistent funding that reduces the ‘grant writing hat in hand” that follows most of these types of endeavors. “Schools can extend the reach of excellent teachers and the teams they lead to more students, for more pay, within budget — making significant pay increases possible for all teachers when implemented school wide. The models allow teachers to advance in their careers without leaving the classroom (Hassel & Hassel, 2014, para. 6).” The state currently ranks 46th in the nation for average teacher pay, a rating that has slumped in the recession years as the state froze pay under a Democratic administration, which should have been education friendly. Both the state and CMS are studying ways to reform the current system, which rewards only longevity and credentials. The article did not mention the contribution of the North Carolina Education Lottery, which was sold to us as a way of boosting K-12 education, again under Democratic rule (Helms, 2014). The newspaper revamped the commenting section where snark and dissent that would be associated with education and money spending stories are nowhere to be found. Granted it did not help the discourse, it is mentioned only because the enemies of CMS do not have a ready platform to spout hate.
Without over analysis, I am comfortable with the fact that I make a decision and someone will not like it, even rising to an enemy level. Not everyone can be pleased with you all the time, the only person that needs to be pleased is yourself. As a close friend stated it: I was brought into this world alone, I will leave it alone, and I will be judged alone. Not a literal definition as no one can enter the world without a medical professional in the mix and in some cases leave it that way. The judgment part is a particular religious doctrine ascribed by most but not all. Power trips are unacceptable in my view, but decision-making is part of life.
About Us — belk.com — Belk.com. (2013). Informational. Retrieved January 20, 2014, from http://www.belk.com/AST/Misc/Belk_Stores/About_Us/Who_We_Are/Our_History.jsp
Hassel, E. A., & Hassel, B. (2014, January 16). Charlotte to Expand Opportunity Culture to Almost Half Its Schools : Education Next. WordPress 3.0.1. Retrieved from http://educationnext.org/charlotte-to-expand-opportunity-culture-to-almost-half-its-schools/
Helms, A. D. (2014, January 9). Belk Foundation gives $505,000 to create big rewards for star teachers | CharlotteObserver.com. Retrieved January 20, 2014, from http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2014/01/09/4597778/belk-foundation-gives-505000-to.html (SUBSCRIPTION REQUIRED).