when the two opposite roads cross


There are something in life that put you in quite conflicted position. In order to move on, one road should be chosen over the other, but what happens when both roads are true to your role? How do you choose?

For instance, leadership versus democratic decisions in cases when there are critical decisions to be made while representing others, on their behalf? Do you do what your leadership position requires and decide yourself based on the perimeters/responsibilities of your position, or do you consult and consider the wishes/opinions of the groups you are representing? Even more challenging is; in the latter case, how do you proceed when their wishes do not align with your position’s values?

Let me give an example (while not a good one…): Let’s assume you are, say, a school’s principal and you are requested by the Ministry to stop providing lunch boxes to the students in need for free and rather ask them to help with the chores around the school an hour/day to qualify for the free lunch.

You as the principal feel that the free lunch is important to provide to the students who cannot afford it; it is a matter of equity, a matter of caring for the students and their wellness regardless of their economic background, and making sure that they have access to the basic needs and means to excel at school. You think that imposing such a system will disadvantage many of the otherwise bright students and are planning to make a case to Ministry and object to the new plan.

You ask the students (and parents) and a significant portion agrees to Minister’s plan considering the financial crisis the country/school is going through. They feel that they/their kids don’t deserve to have free lunch while their peers pay for their own. And the majority of those parents whose kids pay for lunch agree to this.

Yet, another but smaller portion states that they do need the free lunch as they cannot otherwise afford lunch, and cannot possibly let their kids work an hour/day continuously while the kids also attend to their classes, do part-time jobs, or take care of family obligations. A small portion of the parents whose kids pay for their lunches also supports this.

What do you do as the principal?

Stand by your overall moral compass and make the objection to the Ministry?

or

Render a decision based on the majority group and say to Ministry that the new plan will be implemented?

Let me know what you think!

 

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5 thoughts on “when the two opposite roads cross

Add yours

  1. I’m going to assume here that there is nowhere else in the budget to find the money for the lunches because you have already been cutting back for the last ten years. As the leader, I would say your responsibility is to champion the cause of the neediest not the most vocal, regardless of who is in the majority. I would absolutely make objections to the ministry. I would also have staff and parents collective brainstorm a solution to provide for the students who would not otherwise get lunch.

    Liked by 1 person

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