A couple of adds to this — it was written quickly:

For AJ Juliani who wonders if the 18 hour days are necessary — there’s an old story, maybe true, maybe urban legend, about a small city mayor in Pennsylvania. A woman called his home one night at 3 am to report that a streetlight on her block was out. He kept his composure, listened, and the next morning sent a crew out to fix it. Then at 3 am the next night he called the woman back to ask if the light was working.

The point being that a public CEO is nothing like a corporate CEO. For example, yesterday I tried to complain ‘up the ladder’ to Samsung USA about our 4-month-old broken microwave. That’s impossible. No boss there will either answer the phone or call back (maybe I should just visit Ridgefield NJ…). But no public leader can do that. Parents call, teachers call, community leaders call. Crises — small and large — demand attention. And they know where you are.

I think we have a very strong leadership team, some of whom go back decades with Dr. Moran — others of us obviously more recent. But we have a very small leadership team because we believe that most resources need to be focused closest to our children. For almost 14,000 students and 26 schools we have one Deputy Superintendent.

So, 18 hour days just happen…

But… they are also volunteered. And this is important. Pam is a voracious reader/viewer/interviewer. She is constantly searching for what is important out there, and what is new and promising. We all awake — every day — to sometimes dozens of links, ideas, thoughts, things to investigate. As a leader she helps us kick start the research that keeps our kids front and center.

When your boss does that, you do that. My team will testify that the flood of ideas flows downhill.

  • Ira Socol

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