During my nearly 20 years as in-house counsel with Adams 12 Five Star School District, I worked with five different superintendents, with vastly different leadership styles and personalities. I learned from each, but loved and befriended only one. It was “the little big things” about Jack Knight that endeared me to him and made an impact on me. I supposed it’s not surprising that he’s especially important to me – he’s the man who hired me, with the purpose, he told me, of “doing things better.” A simple idea, but profoundly different than the “highfalutin” (I had no idea until I just checked the Web that highfalutin is a “real” word) cost-saving, education-improving, morale-boosting ideas other superintendents managed to over-complicate, explain to death, and devastate forests with their requirements of report after report.
I learned a couple of weeks ago that Jack is struggling with his health. Actually that’s an understatement – the reports I’m getting are dire indeed. I’m very sad, but thinking about happier times I spent with Jack is buoying me up.
Each Friday, we’d debrief “LA Law” as though we were reviewing a complex calculation involving the district budget, or a critical personnel matter. We took the TV show very seriously indeed, and the week wasn’t complete until we had relived the best parts of the hour we had each spent, glued to the TV, in our own homes. Read the rest of this entry
As I think about what I’m grateful for this year, there’s much to be thankful for. I want to take this opportunity to tell friends and colleagues in the industry that the marvelous opportunities to spend time – real and virtual – with you during the last 17 years have been a gift on both a professional and personal basis. Thank you for allowing me to become part of your world. That you would let a lawyer-type into your midst to the degree you have is testimony to how seriously you take your responsibilities. I hope you have a great holiday with family and friends, and a wonderful year ahead. My heart is with my people on the east coast, especially in New York and New Jersey – I wish you well.
My good friend Peggy again offers superb inspiration – this time for a Thanksgiving post. There are far too many wondrous things for which I am constantly grateful. I will list a few here but will be sure to slip several more into upcoming posts. As I sit in a hotel room in China I am very thankful:
- For the free interchange of ideas and stories with friends, family, and colleagues.
- To work with people who are committed to making a difference in the lives of kids.
- To be able to choose to learn, work, and play in varying amounts.
- For advancing technology which brings us together and allows us to share.
As this holiday weekend draws to a close, let me suggest we try to focus just a little bit more on gratitude. Whether it’s a gratitude walk, prayer, conversation, or just a gratitude moment, we could all stand to share our thanks and, in the process, gain a little more perspective.
P.S. – I was unable to post this from China. Sorry for the delay.