Monday, June 14, 2010

Top 10 list for leaders

I have no idea where I discovered this top 10 list. I want to apologise for pasting it here without acknowledgement. Leave a comment if you know its origins, or like the content. Its too good to not share.

1 The focus of 'your' school must be on the success of kids 100% of the time. All too often, it seems, we try to fit kids into our expectations and in the process ignore the ideas, questions, points of view, and talents the students bring with them. And we see any conflict with students as a problem rather then as a means to work out a mutual better solutions.
2 Leaders need to create a vision,write it down,and start implementing it. It is important not to put your vision in drawer and forget about it and hope for the best. Every decision must be aligned against the vision and beliefs that underpin it. The whole school community is watching when you make a decision so consistency, by referencing decisions against the vision, is important.
3 It's the people stupid. The secret of managing is to keep the people who hate you away from those who are undecided. Hire people who support your vision, who are prepared to learn and who like kids.
4 Keep the paddles in the water. When navigating dangerous rapids in raft the only way to succeed is for everyone in the boat to sit on the edge and paddle really hard even though everyone would rather sit in the centre where it is safer. In times of school crisis everybody must be involved.
5 Find time to think and worry during the day. You are never always going to have a good days so it is OK to stare at the wall, reflect on the vision, and think about how to make necessary changes. Value input from other but ask those who provide it to provide possible solutions as well.
6 Take responsibility for the good and bad. The solutions to problems are almost always right in front of you; the genius of the school lies within the school. Imposed solutions have their consequences. Don't give away your responsibility.
7 You have ultimate responsibility. Have very clear expectations derived from the school vision and beliefs and then make sure people have the knowledge, resources, and time to accomplish expectations. Autonomy is the goal but actions need to be within the bounds of the vision.
8 Have bias for yes. The only progress you ever make in life involves risk.Ideas that teachers and others may suggest may seem a little crazy but try to makes such requests into a yes. Use the vision as a self reference and encourage others to do so.
9 Consensus is over rated. Twenty percent of the people will be against anything. When you realize this you avoid compromising what really should be done because you stop watering things down.If you always reach consensus you are being led by the 20%
10 Large changes need to be done quickly. If you wait too long to make changes to a school culture you have already sanctioned mediocre behaviour because you are allowing it.That is when change is hard. Define with the staff the behaviours required by the vision and belief and hold people accountable to them.

Seems like good advice if principals want to be real leaders!


Regan said...

Number 10 is challenging as a FTP, and got me thinking.......but on reflection, there is large change I have initiated this year where staff are holding greater accountability. Many things are in my vision and plan but don't want to chuck in too many things at once, or I risk flooding! Have written my plan down and beginning to implement it - great list. Cheers Luke.

Podgorani said...

Regan, at my current school and its been nearly 9 years and I have been guilty of taking time to change things and they have meant tolerating things that perhaps i shouldnt have. I have no-one else to blame but myself. However being FTP and starting off fresh you have a bit of grace. I'm not sure that I have anyone to blame prior to me as well as I was Establishment principal. Still as you grow in the job you learn a bit more all the time.
Number 10 is a hard rule to follow but it does make sense.

Principal's Page said...

This good Luke. It helps from time to time for some one to refocus you with a gem like this. Thanks!

Podgorani said...

Yeah i suppose i was meaning that number 10 is tough always, but having those values in the center is the only way to go. my things have never really been big but its always important to be continually looking to challenge mediocrity.