Find the Cause

Idly watching TV last night (and avoiding politics) I wasn't expecting to get worked up about leadership.

The programme was highlighting truancy in underperforming schools.

Interviewing a Maths teacher the journalist asked what issues he thought lay behind the truancy rate. The teachers response: he didn't know, he was there to teach Maths to whoever turned up to his class, not to tackle truancy.

That was the 'light blue touchpaper' moment for me. I can only imagine how tough it is for these teachers, but it got me thinking about what happens with this (apparent) abdication of leadership.

Leadership happens whether we label it as such in every walk of life. Anywhere we act as a role model, offer advice, knowledge, support or guidance - we are leading. And great leaders don't have a narrow definition of their contribution. They care about what really moves the needle, about the cause behind the symptom, so they can be part of the solution.

I'm not berating this teacher, this could have been edited for effect, and I don't know the background to what is an extremely tough situation.

But it highlights a crucial leadership trait we can all learn from.

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