My experience has told me there is an art to successfully supervising people. A great leader brings out the best in their people; while a bad one creates disharmony and drives away talented people. This week I have been reflecting on the great leaders I have been involved with. Some of the equalities they have had:
- Has a sense of humor. This doesn’t mean the principal becomes a regular Jerry Seinfeld that constantly cracks jokes or acts like a clown. It simply means they are approachable, relatable and see the value in an upbeat, positive workplace. A friendly environment starts at the top.
- Allows freedom to fail. Once teachers are given the proper training, a good principal will step out of the way. Teachers flourish when they know they are trusted to do the right thing after given clearly defined expectations. A good principal steps in when they see an issue, but continually relies on teachers especially middle managers to do what they have been hired to do.
- Values .strong communication. A good principal clearly articulates expectations, freely shares news that will benefit their team and offers feedback, both positive and constructive, to each teacher they directly supervise. Most importantly, they establish communication as a two-way street, creating a safe atmosphere to voice opinions and concerns.
- Asks for input. Everyone on the team is there because they have professional skills to contribute to the organization. A good principal knows they can’t be an expert at all things, and must rely on their team for corporate success.
- Encourages growth. A good principal will provide opportunities for teacher development and growth. They are tuned in to those who demonstrate initiative and are eager to expand their knowledge.
- Acknowledges success. A good principal compliments and rewards their team and doesn’t miss an opportunity to “brag” about an teacher’s job well done – at a staff meeting, board level, or in front of the community