05 Aug

i had the good fortune to hear phil schlechty speak this afternoon at leadership and he fell a bit short of my expectations in more ways than one.  i appreciate a good story as much as the next guy, but he peppered his 90 minute session with a few too many stories of his grandson.  the examples were good and what he had to say was wonderful, but it was a bit much.  i was glad to have attended his session, and i made note of a couple of his key points on evernote as i listened – i particularly liked his idea of the juxtaposition of the teacher who is working as a linear/push and the student who is functioning as a random/pull; and we wonder why we can’t see eye to eye.  he had some great lines about teachers teaching and students learning just aren’t compatible, or something along those lines.  where he the phil schlechty statue in my mind shrunk quite a bit was after his talk.  everyone was shuffling out of the room and i walked to the front and asked him if he had attended ohio state (which it turns out he had) and introduced myself as a fellow ohio state graduate and thanked him for his talk.  he made very little eye contact with me, shook my hand very quickly and was much more concerned with getting packed up than having any sort of conversation.  i thought he might have been in a hurry, but i found him sitting in 108 about 15 minutes later.  at any rate, i felt like i wasn’t given the time of day which he certainly doesn’t owe me, but as a presenter i find it odd he wasn’t interested in the audience.  compare that to dr reis and renzulli who asked us to call them by their first name and would gladly sit and talk to you about just about anything…heck they would even share a drink with you!  i refuse to believe that joe and sally were only hospitable because we were paying to come to their conference, they were genuinely interested in us and it showed.  i can’t remember which book it was that talked about doctors and their rate of being sued for malpractice was in direct proportion to the number of minutes they spent talking to their patients, i want to say it was gladwell.  i know educational luminaries don’t asked to be looked up to, and some would even agree with charles barkley that “they aren’t role models”, but i was disappointed today and a bit saddened.


Posted by on August 5, 2009 in Uncategorized


4 responses to “leadership

  1. Phil Schlechty

    August 6, 2009 at 6:08 am

    I am truly sorry about our interaction and you are right. I am not asking to be excused but I do want to explain. I have been having some medical issues that cause me great pain. I was distracted and not my normal self. I had to do two presentations–I have been limiting myself to one–and I was conserving energy. My energy is down and I again apologize. If we ever meet again I assure you my handshake will be more firm and I will establish better eye contact. By the way, I also agree about the stories. I did carried away just a bit. They were, however, stories with a point.

  2. texasbuckeye

    August 6, 2009 at 6:50 am

    mr. schlechty – i appreciate the time you took to respond, i’m sure someone of your notability is remarked upon daily, and i have to admit i’m a bit honored that you commented on my post, if not also a bit regretful if my remarks were conveyed in a hurtful manner. truth be told, i feel like crawling under a rock right now 😦 thank you very much for presenting twice, as i was unable to make your first session and i would have been deprived hearing you. my apologies if my remarks came off as anything more than the simple musings and observations of a novice professional developer. thank you for your time and i hope you are feeling better soon.

  3. Denise

    August 6, 2009 at 9:18 am

    how can any comment follow the ones above??? regardless…i must say that i am truly impressed….impressed by your honesty and schlecty’s most humble reply….no need to crawl under a rock…you spoke your truth! i did not have the good fortune to see him speak yesterday, however i know our expectations were high…and still are…so it must have been disappointing to leave the session with a bad taste in your mouth….perhaps if you initially did not get the “brush” off you would have felt differently……bravo to you for being honest…and to schlecty for taking his valuable time to reply!

    i could be wrong….but i believe the author who spoke of the time spent with patients was dan pink…

  4. Denise

    August 6, 2009 at 9:21 am

    ooooooooops………..just caught myself…i accidentally misspelled schlechty’s name…..TWICE….typing too fast…….


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