Tag Archives: Being Visible and Present

CONNECT 17

21 Aug

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I had the pleasure last week to be involved in the NASDAP national conference. There were an abundance of great speakers which I will reflect on in the coming weeks. Here are my thoughts as I reflect a week later:

Andrew revisit your Vision as a School Leader:

Take some time out and reflect on the reasons why you stepped into the school leadership role. What was it that you had hoped you could achieve? What was the legacy that you had hoped to leave behind? It takes courage to have a big vision and as a school leader, wanting to make a difference to the lives of future generations, your vision will be bigger than most.

Andrew reflect on your values: 

It is highly likely that with the challenges that have arisen as the result of the new education innovation, that there will have been times when you will have found your values severely tested. When we are under stress we can sometimes find ourselves behaving in ways in which our values are severely compromised, we find our -selves becoming disillusioned and if pushed too far, deciding to jump ship.

Andrew find support:

You can’t do it alone! You are not superhuman and really there is no such thing as a super head! All school leaders feel pain, anger and frustration. The problem is many school leaders seek to hide their true emotions both from themselves and others.

When we ask for help, we may find that we open the door that leads us to becoming a bigger vision of ourselves. 

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My first Principal…

22 Jan

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Here are a few things my first principal taught me on my own path to servant leadership:

  • Don’t take advantage of your title or positional power; instead, inspire by making them feel like an equal.
  • Share the vision and decision-making with others. Make sure followers have a seat at the table in important decisions.
  • Provide followers with all the resources they need so they can become better leaders.

While he was still my “principal” and expectations of my performance were high, I recall how much more satisfied and engaged I felt than at any other time in my young corporate career.

What was it about this professional relationship that worked out so well for me? It comes down to four leadership principles proven over time to build trust and loyalty in followers.

  1. He facilitated a shared vision. 

My first principal communicated an image of the future that drew us all in. It spoke to what his team (my colleagues) saw and felt.

  • Destination: Where are we going?
  • Purpose: Why do we exist? What greater good do we serve?
  • Values: What principles guide our decisions and actions on our journey?

When a vision addresses all three of these questions for team members, a tremendous amount of energy is unleashed.

  1. He shared power and released control.

If you want to foster high trust, risk-taking, creativity and open communication, but you’re still riding on your autocratic high-horse and instilling fear, consider getting off for the higher road of sharing power and releasing control.

This means allowing the freedom for others to experiment, lead themselves, stretch, and make mistakes. This will unleash discretionary effort and your team will produce great results. That’s what happened to My first principal’s team.

  1. He put people in positions to lead.

Instead of leveraging his positional power for personal gain, self-promotion or demands for special privileges, My first principal put his people in positions of leadership to stretch their growth and develop new strengths and roles.

The return on this investment was watching a leadership culture rise up. Many of us got promoted to leadership roles, filling key positions internally.

  1. He pushed his authority down.

In highly effective organizations, there are leaders at every level, not just at the top. The solution is always to push authority down so you’re creating a leader-leader culture. This is what My first principal did exceptionally well.By the way it was not Michael Scott!!!

What are some good examples of leaders who share leadership? How do they do it?

How I can be a better leader

15 Sep

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6.  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
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