Speaking the Lingua Franca of Contemporary Leadership

Type: Article
Topics: Leadership Development, School Administrator Magazine

March 01, 2022

My View

The organizational ecosystem relies on a common language between its members. Language is to leadership what a fuel pressure release wrench is to a mechanic.

Why a fuel pressure release wrench? Why not romanticize leadership and bathe in its mystique? After all, leadership is an art. Why not a sable hairbrush in the hands of the landscape artist or a mallet and chisel in use by the subtractive sculptor or a zebrawood baton in the grip of the symphony maestro? Why do I choose a fuel pressure release wrench to make the point?

The reality of our lives as organizational leaders is that we usually never start with a blank canvas, a block of stone or an unscored composition. It is usually a little messy. Leaders are more likely to be confronted with a high-pressure system that is about to blow if not relieved. Leaders rely on angles and leverage, a metaphorical wrench, to release just enough pressure to keep everyone psychologically safe, a prerequisite for trust, the cornerstone of learning organizations.

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Allan Mucerino


Alvord Unified School District in Riverside, Calif.

This commentary is drawn from Allan Mucerino's eponymous blog.