I want to expand this week and discuss the opposite ends of the four types of people I wrote about in last week’s post — The Compelled and The Cynics.
The interesting thing when we think about these two types of people in a school is that they are actively trying to pull others to a way of thinking. The Cynics are looking for people who will look for things to complain about, and people to pass the blame to so that they ultimately stay stuck in the negative world that they have created around them. The compelled are working to move people forward, trying to get those around them (staff and students) to be the best version of themselves. Here is the challenge — it is easier to stay where we are than it is to put in the effort to change mindsets and move forward. The Compelled are creators and builders of school culture, while the Cynics are destroyers and diminishers of a positive school culture.
The cynics have it easy; they only have to be loud enough and negative enough to keep you from wanting to put in the effort improvement requires. The change process requires a great deal of energy. It is work to move from your current state to the best version of yourself. Therefore, the Compelled have to work much harder to be energy creators for those around them. Cynics target the weak- the low hanging fruit. Compelled care so much about the work that nothing will stand in their way. They want people to follow, and sometimes have to produce energy for themselves (and others) as they are working towards improvement. This energy requirement is often why Cynics win out in the process. The Cynics can appear tougher because it takes much less energy to stay where you are than it does to move forward despite the challenges. It is always easier to point out the problems than to try and solve them.
Both the compelled and the cynics want others to align with them — one causes improvement, the other’s causes stagnation. One leads to fulfillment; the other leads to chasing fleeting happiness. If you are a leader, one of the compelled, stay strong, push forward, and do not allow the Cynics to outlast you. Live compelled!