musings

Leonhard Dicta on the Human Condition in Professional Life

From my boyfriend’s mom. So interesting when considering the leadership/administration aspect of teaching.

Charles Leonhard was a central figure in the music education development of hundreds of teachers directly at the University of Illinois, and thousands by extension. He believed in Comprehensive Musicianship as a focus for teaching and learning. These dicta reflect his pragmatic view of professional work (and aren’t restricted to music education).

1. The human condition is dichotomous:
• Good and evil
• Confidence and insecurity
• Charity and meanness
• Altruism and selfishness
• Humaneness and cruelty

2. The territorial imperative dominates people as well as cats.
3. When cornered, people react like tigers.
4. Every person in an organization develops a power base over a period of years.
5. Power and status are interactive.
6. Identification of the seats of power is essential.
7. People talk. There is no such thing as confidentiality.
8. People resent the success of others.
9. People crave attention and positive reinforcement.
10. People react positively to being asked for advice; they resent receiving gratuitous advice.
11. Efforts to develop social relationships with superiors are fruitless.
12. Expect the best from people; be prepared for the worst.
13. Slowly develop relationships with people at your own level on the basis of common interests and values.
14. If threatened or abused, don’t get mad; get even.
15. If in a position of power, find a place for the incompetents with tenure where they can gain some satisfaction and do the least harm.
16. If in a position of power, ask the right question:
Is someone good enough to keep?
not
Is someone bad enough to fire?

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