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Sunday, April 27, 2014


The circle/cycle of life has taken another of my mentors this week.  Jimmy Bickley, the school superintendent that both Moe (my lovely bride of 37 years) and I broke into the profession under, passed away the other day.  In fact, we had the great good fortune to have worked for/with Mr. Bickley on two different occasions.

Some of the powerful lessons of life and leadership I learned from Mr. Bickley:

  • Faith - Understanding God is a lifelong process that is never completed, but we should never presume to know the mind of God.
  • Unflappability - Steadiness under fire from leaders is a hallmark of the best ones.
  • Stewardship - Wanting resources and needing resources are two different things; leaders should be able to tell the difference and exhaustively try to provide for the latter.
  • Family - Devotion to family is a sure indicator of the depth of our character.
  • Affirmation - Support and recognition for those who are "doing the work" on the front lines of an organization is worth its weight in gold.
  • Kindness - Even in the heat of battle/argument/debate, civility and courtesy must prevail (warranted or not).
  • Humor - See, and help others see, the humor that underlies almost every human endeavor; life is too painful otherwise.
RIP, Jimmy Bickley.  A legion of educators (and the students they serve) are better for having known you and served with you. 

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