A Key Role to Fill: The Agonist, via Seth Godin

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A Key Role to Fill: The Agonist, via Seth Godin

This short post from Seth Godin caught my eye.  He names two people you might need to help you in your professional life: an agonist to cause things to happen, and a procrastinatrix whose job it is to hold you accountable for getting things done.

I think many senior leaders have a procrastinatrix, or should; they are called good executive assistant.

But on my EdJourney I found a key to successful innovation at schools was a person or small group designated with the role of Seth’s agonist, the person or people who don’t overlook the rough spots, but plow through or around them and get things done.  The old way, finding the most abrupt sergeant-at-arms personality to take care of business does not  fit any longer.  Good agonists are creative, inventive, collaborative, reflective, and imaginative.  I found them with titles like Chief Imagination Officer, Chief Innovation Officer, Chief Irritant (that was informal, but lovingly so), Director of the Center for Innovation, and more.  Really smart leaders at these schools identified some of their best people and made it their main job to make sure the organization moves forward, cause things to happen.  At some schools these are committees or working groups, but the role is the same.

Schools are big, complex places and stuff always happens to get in the way of the best intentions and vision. A great agonist will get things done even when the world conspires to stop her/him/them.  Your school has people who are good at this. They have more “agonist DNA” than most other people. You just have to find them, name them, and make sure they have the standing and resources to “get it done.”  Good things will happen.

By | 2013-01-18T16:44:15+00:00 January 18th, 2013|Governance and leadership|0 Comments

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