9 common leadership missteps to avoid

The role of school administrator is evolving from a building manager into an instructional leader. This shift is not easy, and all leaders strive to be the best they can. Being a school leader isn’t easy and you are not going to make the right call all the time. However, you can learn to avoid common missteps.

There are countless articles about being a good school leader, but we also need to learn how to recognize and avoid missteps. Although making a misstep can be a learning opportunity, taking the time to learn how to recognize and avoid common mistakes can help you become productive, successful, and respected by your staff. Here are some examples of decisions or actions that can become a problem for you and your school. Understanding the misstep is the first stage in avoiding it.

1. Trying to be popular.
Too often, leaders think they must please everyone. And worse, please them all the time. Yes, you want to be well liked, but it is more important to be respected. Respect is gained by a leader when he/she is consistent, has clear communication, sets expectations and clear boundaries, and makes tough (and usually necessary) decisions. Sometimes, those tough decisions are not popular. I’ve found that if you keep students at the core and are consistent, most staff accept unpopular decisions if you communicate the reason. Not asking your staff (when you can) for their input before the decision is another misstep you want to avoid.…Read More

Six districts get creative to find the principals of their dreams

At a time when the job of principal has become more demanding and less attractive to some aspiring leaders, a new report details how six urban districts are training and retaining school leadership talent.

“The importance of principals to lead education reform, such as the Common Core State Standards and teacher evaluation, has been documented in research and demonstrated in these six districts,” said Jody Spiro, The Wallace Foundation’s director of education leadership. “There is much that they can and should do to support principals, including setting high performance standards, ensuring that leaders are well prepared and supported.”

The report, “Building a Stronger Principalship: Six Districts Begin the Principal Pipeline Initiative,” is the first of several reports that are part of a multi-year evaluation conducted by Policy Studies Associates and the RAND Corporation.…Read More