Strong Leaders Surround Themselves with Even Stronger Subordinates

I was a bit surprised when Jason Glass took over as Superintendent of Jeffco schools and he didn’t replace ANY of the top leadership. In many instances a change in top leadership is accompanied by the new leader bringing in some of his “own” people. I always wondered why no changes were made, with the exception of bringing in the all important Chief Communication Officer he previously worked with in Eagle, a year after he took the Jeffco position.

  • Did Glass consider the people who were already there to be superstars? It’s hard to imagine that given the weak academic results of the District.
  • Did Glass not have a network of people he trusted and believed in from past jobs? That’s a possibility given he came from Eagle.
  • Does Glass have the arrogance to believe that he could make the incumbents better in their jobs? That’s certainly a possibility.
  • Was Glass so weak that he didn’t want to get rid of the incumbents? Again, that’s a possibility.
  • Does Glass not trust himself to be able to hire better people? Again, another possibility.

The bottom line is that for nearly 2 years all of the incumbents remained in place. Eventually, the Chief Human Resource Officer left, Kevin Carroll retired and the Chief of Schools – Elementary was hired away.

The jury is still out regarding Kevin Carroll’s replacement (good riddance, by the way). However, the replacement for Chief of Schools – Elementary is a head scratcher.

Strong leaders surround themselves with strong subordinates. Glass’s appointment of Renee Nicothodes, who spent many, many years at Adams 14, is not confidence inspiring. With the state essentially taking over Adams 14, Renee has NO track record of making improvements. Could Glass not get someone with a better track record, or is he afraid of bringing in someone who might be stronger than he is? Either way, it is an indictment of his leadership and a blow to the kids and improvement in Jeffco.

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