It's funny as educators we always say we are lifetime learners but I think once we become leaders that changes.
It's not that we don't continually try to learn more and be more, but most of our learning becomes self-directed.
It's as if once we become leaders we are "supposed to know everything."
Think about this: How often are we offering professional learning to our teachers and staff?
I'll give you an example from my organization this past year:
10 full days of professional learning, some over the summer and some during the year.
3 additional full days of professional learning for teachers who are new to our school.
3 hours of professional learning every Wednesday.
Embedded professional learning during weekly planning meetings
Embedded professional learning during weekly data meetings
Embedded professional learning in unit unpacking meetings.
Wow, that is a lot of professional learning. Who provides it? The Leadership Team.
Now, think about how much professional learning is provided to the leadership teams at your school or in your district. I bet it is nowhere near this much.
When I became an Assistant Principal, I made it my business to attend ALL professional learning sessions my staff were attending. I felt that I needed to know/be able to do what they were expected to know/be able to do. As a Principal and CEO I have also made it a priority.
Here's the thing though, what leaders need is different from what teachers need.
Not only do we need to understand pedagogy, curriculum, assessment, and instruction but we also have to be able to lead. We need to know how to make decisions quickly, work with a group, have difficult conversations, and hold people accountable in a way that doesn't isolate them. Interact with stakeholders, manage Boards of Education, the pivot for major events like a GLOBAL PANDEMIC and do so much more.
Who is helping you learn and do that? Likely no one is. I know in my leadership journey, I never had that person. I never would have asked for help as a new administrator, because I assumed that I was supposed to know everything.
14 years ago I became an Executive Coach to School Principals and I saw firsthand how that authentic, embedded professional learning positively impacted the principals and their schools.
I have trained my leaders using the methods I learned and developed. I am proud to say that of the 11 members of my school leadership, team 8 of them were home-grown.
I've found that by focusing on the 7 steps of my Leadership DRIVERS method, leaders are able to become the leaders they were meant to be.
They are as follows:
Discovering your mission and aligning your position to that mission
Realizing your values and what you value and aligning those to the position you choose
Ignoring your weaknesses and focusing on your growth
Validating relationships, making sure you are spending your time with people who support you and not tear you down
Engaging organizational strategies to ensure you are able to meet your deadlines and manage the work of your team
Reasoning and Analysis to Make Decision: using the IDECIDE framework to make the "just right" decision
Self care: ensuring you are taking care of your physical, emotional, spiritual, and nutritional needs
It is time to shift our paradigms to support our leaders and invest in their growth. It has worked for my organization and the organizations I have supported.
So if you want to:
Focus on your growth as a leader
Focus on the growth of your leadership team
Develop a sustainable leadership pipeline in your school or district
I know I can help you achieve your goals!
Schedule a time here and let's make your leadership goals come to life, and watch your organization/team flourish and thrive!
In friendship, love, and leadership,