Wake County school board Chairman Kevin Hill said Friday that former Superintendent Tony Tata’s autocratic leadership style created a culture of fear among school system employees.
Then on Wednesday, the Indy Week’s Will Huntsberry wrote about it and included quotes from many school employees backing it up:
Some school board members and former administrators allege that former Wake superintendent Tony Tata created a “culture of fear” in the central office. His generous public persona, which earned him wide popularity, contrasted with his threatening private demeanor in the workplace, they say.
I was particularly galled when I read what Tata allegedly told his staff:
But when Tata delivered his back-to-school speech, she says, “He made a comment I’ll never forget: ‘I either hired you or I let you keep your job, so remember that when you go into this school year.’ It was like he was saying, ‘You’re replaceable. Remember that.’ That’s how it went on. ‘Don’t screw up. You better keep your scores up, because I can get rid of you very easily.’”
Is this how Tata earned his star in the Army? Did he graduate from the Asshole School of Leadership?
I can’t think of a worse way to lead people than to make this kind of ultimatum. It doesn’t matter if you’re leading an army brigade, one of the country’s largest school systems, or a shift of restaurant workers at Burger King: this is a piss-poor way to motivate people. If this is the best Tata could do he rightfully deserves to be booted out on his keister.