When The Going Gets Tough…

There are so many aspects of leadership that no one tells you about.  They don’t write about it in a book, it’s not discussed in class, and it is most definitely NOT one of the ridiculous scenarios that you have to write about in class.  We made it through August pretty well considering that Hurricane Harvey dumped a bajillion gallons of water in the greater Houston area and left a monstrous path of destruction in his wake.  And believe it or not, I was semi-prepared to deal with that.  However, I was not prepared the death of a team member the week after the storm hit.


During a time when our city is trying to recover and rebuild, a time when so many coworkers are experiencing devastating losses, how do you lead them through the passing of a legend in our field and in our school district?  I have struggled with whether or not I got it right, or if I’m still getting it right.  But one thing is for sure, people are looking for me to lead…whether I wanted to or not.  Standing up in a meeting and basically eulogizing the person who led every meeting in that room in the past…someone who was far too young and taken away from us far too soon…that was one of the hardest things I have ever done. It’s definitely top 3 in my professional life.  In my personal life, I can say that the pains and hurts of the past actually did a great job of equipping me for this task. I’m used to loss. I’m used to remembering the good times and using those memories as fuel to move forward.  It was different to try to lead others through that process.  I’m grateful for the mentors who helped me navigate through this terrain and come out on the other side. I know that this isn’t over, but I’m happy to have survived the beginning of this ride.


Now, as I begin to put the pieces back together and attempt to move forward, I’m looking forward to getting back into a routine. I am trying to establish some procedures & policies that will help in the interim.  The position will be filled, and a new person will join our team in January.  I’m looking forward to that for many reasons, but the number one is simply a return to normalcy.  Thank you for bearing with me as I get it back together.




3 thoughts on “When The Going Gets Tough…

  1. Ashley, I am SO sorry to hear about all of the tough times you’ve been going through. Hopefully finding your routine will help you feel somewhat back to normal. This was such a vulnerable post to share, and I’m glad you did! Looking forward to learning and growing with you.


  2. I recently finished my administrative license in Michigan, and that is something that we did not address in my program. I cannot imagine the difficulty of having to deal with that loss in the professional environment so close to the loss due to catastrophic weather.

    Reflecting on the difficulty and keeping the thoughts in your mind are essential to growing as a professional and a person. When we must constantly be looking for ways to improve our practice and ensure that we are striving to get better. From the sounds of it, regardless of how you percieved your handling of the situation, those that you lead are better off because of your reflective practice.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: