In another life I'm positive I was a teacher (it's been so long, but I'm pretty sure).
Back in the good old days, running a school or school district seemed so easy.
I could sit in a teacher's meeting and come up with the correct answers in a split-second.
You didn't even have to ask me. (And trust me, no one did).
Actually, you didn't even have to have a teacher's meeting. I could simply stand in the hallway and share my opinion.
I just knew how things should be done.
Things seemed so simple from my vantage point (in the back... sometimes paying attention).
I was positive I understood all the decisions school administrators should make (ALL... not some... ALL).
Give me a problem. I had the answer.
Don't give me a problem. Still had the answer.
Back then, I was a genius (in my own mind... and only in my own mind).
Basically, I was batting a 1,000 percent on any and all tough decisions (I was keeping track... probably when I should have been listening).
It really wasn't that hard.
Everything seemed clear to me. Very black and white.
Then I became an administrator.
About two minutes in, I realized decisions were seldom black and white (it took two minutes because the first 90 seconds I was frozen from sheer panic).
In fact, after eight years, I have come to realize there aren't any decisions that are black and white.
They're all gray.
Every single one.
I think this is because each decision an administrator makes involves people.
Sure, you may be deciding on a sports schedule or a printer cartridge, but eventually the decision leads you to a person.
And that makes the simple complicated.
If only I knew then what I know now.
E-mail Michael Smith at email@example.com