Head Cheese calls me the “de facto” chair of the DATE grant-writing team for my campus.
Probably because I’ve been the most vocal about why our campus should write the grant and be allowed access to our portion of the $145+ million up for grabs.
Or it could be because I’ve been one of two on campus that’s asked the most questions about “how” and “when” to get started.
Could also be because I’ve done the lion’s share of the research, created the workgroup and, in collaboration with our campus’ District Improvement Committee, made recommendations to Head Cheese about who should be on the grant-writing team.
One thing he told me back in December when I asked if he could “hook me up” through his connections at Central Office to be on the district’s grant writing team was that I needed to be prepared to be under fire and a whole lot of scrutiny.
Our team was less than 24 hours old when we … or should I say I … came under attack by the campus “climate busters.” You know the ones. They’re the 3 or 4 people you can always depend on to criticize everything for any reason. Mostly just to be contentious.
The DATE grant-writing team met for the first time yesterday after school. The first issue, of course, was to address the viscious rumors that had been flying around campus over the previous two days.
Head Cheese walked in during the middle of that conversation and cut us all short saying, “Don’t worry about what others are saying. You’ve got too much to do and very little time to accomplish it.”
Typical man response. And this isn’t meant to be offensive. Men typically let barbs roll off their back, move on, and get on with the task at hand.
My DATE team is 100% women.
One thing my two classes this semester is really teaching me to do is to listen. Women need to know that they are being listened to, that their concerns are being treated with respect, and that they are being taken seriously.
I knew they needed to both express their concerns about the rumors and hear … from the horse’s mouth (mine) … what was being done, what had been done, and what will be done.
And then we were able to move on and tackle the task at hand.
No one ever said that being a leader would be easy.
I’m finding this to be more true with each and every day that passes.