Leaderspeak Interpreted

I recently rediscovered a glossary that a colleague and I started a few years ago… we had been collecting terms we heard educational leaders using for years, and we reflected on what they meant when they used them. These still seem very appropriate today, so they will be appearing in this blog until the collection is depleted.

“You are not being a team player.”

Usage: Uttered by one (who either is more powerful or who believes they are more powerful) towards another in an attempt to get the less powerful to go along with a bad idea.

Ostensible meaning: We value teamwork and we all need to be working together on this idea or project.

Real meaning: I want you to help us, and I can’t think of a good reason why you should help us, but by saying this, then I am pointing to you as one who has violated one of the core values of our profession. Also, when this fails, I intend to blame you for not contributing.