“Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things. If it is heeded in time, the danger may be averted; if it is suppressed, a fatal distemper may develop.”
~ Winston Churchill
Do not be afraid to ask for feedback from your staff. Use it only in a productive and positive manner to win their trust and acceptance.
- From the book “Zero to One Million” by Ryan P. Allis. Published by McGraw Hill; December 2007
I certainly admit that I have much left to learn about leadership and management, but here are a few tips that might be helpful: Ryan Allis
- Have a vision and communicate it. Make sure you clearly communicate your vision for the school. No one follows a leader who cannot communicate the way in which to succeed.
- Show respect. Treat people, including your teachers, parents, suppliers, partners, and employees, with respect at all times.
- Share your success. Make sure your team members share in the success of your school.
- Don’t be too serious. Make the environment fun at appropriate times.
- Work with individuals. Make sure the individuals see you there and working with them. No one likes to work hard for someone who doesn’t work hard him — or herself. Especially early on, be the first to arrive and the last to leave whenever possible.
- Keep your door open. Keep your “door” open. Make sure they know that you are approachable at any time about any problem they are having.
- Listen. You have built a great team and are paying top dollar for it. Hold meetings with your team, have frequent informal ad hoc discussions, get their feedback, discuss frustrations, keep eye contact to show you are listening, and remember that small changes can have the biggest impact.
- Build relationships. Without understanding at least the basics of what is occurring out-of-school life can make it hard to connect with the person on a professional level. Separate meetings with each group or with individuals can keep you informed.
- Commend more than you criticize. Too many leaders speak to a staff member only when he or she has done something wrong or something that has negatively affected the school. Continual properly placed praises can be as powerful in getting quality results from others as a large pay raise. Many people thrive on peer and superior recognition just as much as on money. Instituting an employee-of-the-month award and a quarterly performance review can be extremely valuable to your company as long as it is truly reflective and not just a mindless gesture.
- Consciously build a culture. Nurture a family atmosphere. Believe in building people up, not tearing people down. Put people first and have respect for the individual. Believe in working hard and being innovative, yet maintaining a balance in life, all working together on the same mission. Keep a young, dynamic, fun, and innovative and growing culture. It exists because you have consciously built it. Consciously building the culture will be appreciated by all.
As leaders, you are charged with an immense responsibility. You control the activity and purpose that your staff. Make your school’s purpose meaningful, communicate your vision, respect and praise your employees, and share your success. If you can succeed in building a team of highly motivated and happy team members who take initiative, have a bias toward action, respect you, and truly care for the Team, you will have done much of the work toward building a strong and fast-growing successful program.
Principal Leadership Resources and Practical Pinterest Resources
Resources that may be of use to use as a leader.
Being a PRINCIPAL has its challenges. It is not an easy profession. It is a high-stress job that most people are not equipped to handle. A principal’s job description is broad. They have their hands in virtually everything related to students, teachers, and parents. They are the chief decision maker in the building.
A successful school principal does things differently. As with any other profession, there are those principals who excel at what they do and those who lack the skills necessary to be successful. Most principals are in the middle of that range. The best principals have a particular mindset and a leadership philosophy that allows them to be successful. They utilize a combination of strategies that make themselves and others around them better thus allowing them to be successful.
The Principal as Leader: An Overview – The School Principal as Leader: Guiding Schools to Better Teaching and Learning 2018
Education research shows that most school variables, considered separately, have at most small effects on learning. The real payoff comes when individual variables combine to reach critical mass. Creating the conditions under which that can occur is the job of the principal.
This Wallace Perspective is a culling of our lessons to describe what it is that effective principals do. In short, we believe they perform five key practices well:
- Shaping a vision of academic success for all students.
- Creating a climate hospitable to education.
- Cultivating leadership in others.
- Improving Instruction.
- Managing people, data and processes to foster school improvement.
This Wallace Perspective is the first of a series looking at school leadership and how it is best developed and supported
Wallace’s work since 2000 suggests that this entails five key responsibilities:
Shaping a vision of academic success for all students, one based on high standards.
Creating a climate hospitable to education in order that safety, a cooperative spirit and other foundations of fruitful interaction prevail.
Cultivating leadership in others so that teachers and other adults assume their parts in realizing the school vision.
Improving instruction to enable teachers to teach at their best and students to learn to their utmost.
Managing people, data and processes to foster school improvement
National Association of Secondary School Principals article – excerpts from “Leadership Matters” 2013
“Some ‘leading’ states are recognizing the crucial role of principals and are beginning to understand their power to influence who leads their schools” (Cheney & Davis, 2011, p. 21).
School districts also have a key role to play. Research “suggests that district policies and practices focused on instruction are sufficiently powerful that they can be felt by teachers as an animating force behind strong, focused leadership by principals” (Louis et al., 2010, p. 203).
Everyone shares a common aspiration for all students to attend high-quality schools. Yet, as the research definitively illustrates, that goal will remain out of reach without a similar commitment to high-quality principal leadership
Excerpts from School Leadership
“Why school leadership matters” March, 2011
Leadership is the most important element in a school.
A focus on instruction, organizational development, and change management.
Curricular coherence that links goals, learning activities and assessments around a set of shared values, beliefs and knowledge about effective organizational practice.
Field-based internships that enable principals-in-training to apply leadership knowledge and skills under the guidance of an expert practitioner.
Mentoring or coaching that supports modeling, questioning, observations of practice and feedback.
Problem-based learning strategies—such as case methods and projects—that support reflection and link theory to practice.
A structure that enables collaboration, teamwork and mutual support among principals-in-training.
Collaboration between universities and school districts to create coherence between training and practice, as well as pipelines for recruitment, preparation, hiring and induction.
Vigorous recruitment of high-quality candidates with experience as expert, dynamic teachers and a commitment to instructional improvement.
Financial support that enables principals-in-training to complete an intensive program with a full-time internship.
Last year’s federal competition for $3.4 billion in grants to support education reform, emphasized improving the training and evaluation of principals as much as it did the training and evaluation of teachers.
“Going forward, it’s tough to imagine a 21st-century school being resurrected by a lackluster school leader. Instead, we are learning about ways to equip more school leaders with better tools, a set of skills that can transform not only a whole school building but also our perception of what it means to be a principal in the first place.”