Here is another brilliant article from Megan Dredge. When I read this article I was actually in the process of writing on a similar topic. I stopped… and decided to focus on Megan’s article instead. She is a brilliant leader, both inside and outside of the classroom, and I can’t think of anyone better to speak on the topic.
Taking on a new leadership role is an admirable venture. Many teachers aspire to a leadership responsibility and look forward to a season of new beginnings. Learning to juggle your new leadership role can be exciting and rewarding, and can sometimes be challenging and overwhelming. Here are 8 strategies to help you be a great leader in your school.
1. Clarify what’s expected of you
As a leader, ask lots of questions about what is expected of you and get clarity on your role. Knowing what your goals are and what you are aiming to achieve is the most crucial step in getting your leadership journey off to a good start.
2. Get to know your team
The people you are leading want to know that you genuinely care about them and that you are genuinely interested in them. Take notice of what is going on in their world and always be looking for opportunities to learn something new about your team members.
3. Encourage team members’ strengths
As you build genuine relationships with your team, you will learn what they are good at and what they are passionate about. A great leader knows the strengths of their team members and gives them opportunities to use them.
4. Be a good follower
If you want your team members to follow you then be a good example. Show them how you are part of a greater team (your ‘boss’ or the person you report to) and how you are committed to that greater team.
5. Confront when appropriate
Great leaders know how to have a difficult conversation. There will be times when you need to confront a team member – as a leader, do it with kindness and fairness.
6. Say sorry
Great leaders are humble enough to admit their mistakes and to actually say sorry. Be a leader who shows your team members that you too are on a learning journey and that it is ok to make mistakes and admit when you are wrong.
7. Encourage ongoing professional development
I’m sure you have heard it said that leaders are learners. It is absolutely true. A great leader is always growing and developing and enthusiastically encourages his or her team to engage in regular Professional Development.
8. Have an open door policy
Be approachable. Make it easy for your team to come and talk to you. Don’t hide in your office or behind your desk. Keep your door open and welcome conversation from your team members. Help them feel at ease when they talk to you and do the hard work to make every conversation productive and useful.
This week’s assignment:
As a leader in your school, choose one of these 8 strategies and really focus on it in your interactions with your team members this week.
Enjoy the journey,
And more importantly,
Enjoy the moments.