Not all people are leaders, nor do they want to be. However, there exists a group of people who want and have a strong desire to lead people. If you have this strong desire to lead like I do, you have to know who you are.
Leadership involves so many qualities that John Maxwell wrote a book titled: “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership”. This book has 21 leadership “laws” that must be developed in order to be a successful leader that people will want to follow, and these traits are especially important in an educational setting.
At some point in our life, we have all worked under a principal that we didn’t respect. Maybe it was because they were ineffective, or they led by intimidation. It could be that you just didn’t understand and relate to their vision.
The good news is that all of the laws can be learned. The bad news is that some are more difficult than others to learn, understand and apply. So now what?
1. Identify your leadership strengths
Do you know which leadership qualities you possess and which qualities you need to work on? For me, I am a strong believer in being trustworthy. I am smart enough to know that I am not good at everything, so I surround myself with people who are strong in the areas where I lack. I also have a pretty strong gut, when it tells me something, I generally try to follow.
2. Identify your leadership skills that are not as strong as you would like.
Once you have identified where you are strong, you need to identify where you are not as strong. You also need to identify what the organization needs most. I always need a money person. I don’t like dealing with the details of budgets, etc, so I look for a person who is detail oriented. You may love working with numbers, but don’t particularly enjoy the data driven aspect of making sure your campus is achieving at its best. Make sure you have an AP, Counselor or Specialist that loves to run data. Knowing there is a system to follow that is defined and safe for teachers and staff to work within will provide them security. Leadership develops daily, not in a day.
3. Develop a plan.
Now that you know what your strengths are and what your weaknesses are, you should develop a plan to learn, apply and grow your leadership skills that are not as strong. There are plenty of staff development opportunities out there, you just need to narrow down what you need. If you don't have time for that and would prefer private coaching by an active or retired principal with proven results, contact ELC and we can provide for you the perfect person to coach you to the next level.
4. Put your plan in action.
How do you know if you are being effective with your new skills? Get an accountability
partner. This should be someone you trust, who has enough respect for you to tell you
the truth. Then accept the constructive criticism for what it is....constructive criticism.
This means you have to be secure enough within yourself to not take it personally, but
take it from a growth perspective. When you have the proper perspective, everything
takes on a whole new meaning. After all, you did ask for the criticism. That really is the
only way to grow.
When you are ready to take action, give Educational Leaderships a call at 832-940-9660 for coaching or our next training opportunity. Our calendar is updated regularly, so you can check out what we are doing and where we are.