I vividly remember the demands placed on Principals and APs at this time of the year. The importance of keeping one eye on today and the other on the future. I also acknowledge that my principalship was not during the uncertain times of COVID, another significant layer of complexity.
As you start planning for 2021, I am sure you have ambition for some big wins.
Just briefly, some of the challenges I remember at this time of year are:
- How many ‘bums on seats’ will I have next year? How many new enrolments will keep dribbling in throughout the next few months?
- What if I can’t employ that new wizz bang teacher or leader to help with the big vision?
- What is the composition of my Leadership Team and the different roles and responsibilities needed to take our school forward?
The above points are far from the extensive list of challenges but it’s a start. To a certain extent, the enrolment worries are out of our hands so make sure you focus your energy on what you can control.
Your Leadership Team is a good starting point.
Does your team need some fine-tuning? Do you need to redefine roles, rejig responsibilities or take the big step of restructuring your entire Leadership Team? A restructure can be invigorating and exciting, and we often hope that this will bring the improvements needed. It’s not something we need to do annually, but every few years it can be refreshing. If you are going to take any of these steps, remember that changing the title and role description may not reap the rewards you desire. It’s more than that.
Regardless of the roles or the labels we place on them, we need to focus on the culture of our team. How does the Leadership Team behave? Is the culture of our team a representation of the culture of our entire school community? Is it ‘me and them’, ‘them and us’ or is it ‘we’?
Stanley Huffy stated, “It’s not the position that makes the leader; it’s the leader that makes the position”. Although we may know this, the question is ‘what are we doing about it’?
A starting point, have you asked these questions with your team lately?
- What are our expected behaviours?
- How do others perceive us?
- How do we want to be perceived?
- What do we stand for?
It’s a great time of the year to start and support your leaders to rise. We know that they play critical roles in the success of our schools and are paramount in our endeavour to build a strong school culture. The challenge is to enable your leaders to lead, not by title but by action and worth.
Need a hand? Give me a yell, I’d love to help….. firstname.lastname@example.org