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Leadership Lessons from The Great One

Hockey legend Wayne Gretzky, known as the “Great One,” explained his brilliance on the ice with his ability to exploit an uncanny spatial awareness—skating to where the puck is going, not where it has been. In terms of leadership, as the cliché “chasing the puck” suggests, superintendents need to be proactive and position their organization for future success by creating adaptable and forward-thinking organizations.

For me, forward-thinking in the education space is reducing polarization and contestation and leading the way towards solving the world's greatest human problem: getting along with each other. That starts locally by creating the conditions that rewards empathy, compassion, positivity, creativity, and collaboration. It's wonderful that AASA has so many forward thinking leaders presenting this week and sharing their experiences of how to create those conditions. It's not hard to see where our world (and country) are going.

As social media continues to directionally drive student and adult behaviors in this era of prevalence inflation, school and district leaders possess the power to go where the puck is going. If we do not, the consequences may be too powerful for even the next generation of AI to overcome long after us humans are reduced to prompters for problem solving machines.

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