Head Teacher Leadership – work/life balance, what’s that?

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I noticed numerous events before Christmas where I’ve been disappointed because different people I’m working with haven’t kept their word.  I’d experienced this in many different forms – a supplier, a colleague and new collaboration venture I’d said yes to.  For me, the big disappointment hasn’t been so much that certain events or agreements didn’t happen – more that that the people involved haven’t been particularly conscious or open and honest about dropping their agreements. 

It takes a higher degree of consciousness doesn’t it to remember agreements, check-in and keep on track?

I absolutely get that it takes courage to say ‘actually this isn’t going to happen or I said X and now I only have time to do Y’.   I’ve done the same myself many times.  I’ve totally avoided re-negotiating or being honest about my dropping agreements when the context has changed.  So I know for me it has taken a huge amount of courage to be honest or change how I operate.

Many of my clients who are head teachers have had this as a constant challenge.  As an educational leader how do you keep all your commitments with yourself, others and keep everything going?  The role has such a HUGE complexity of layer upon layer of responsibilities doesn’t it?  Staff management, staff issues, day to day tasks, school improvements, vision, strategy, dealing with incidents, safeguarding, meetings, governance, constant policy changes, the list is endless!

How do you stay on track with all your many responsibilities AND have any sort of work/life balance?  If you don’t keep all those commitments, if you don’t go to all those meetings, if you don’t read all those papers, if you don’t spend time mentoring that teacher – won’t there be huge, life changing consequences?

Questions is, what does this behaviour role model as an educational leader?

It strikes me there is a BIG consequence to doing this daily juggle and not getting home before 8, 9 or even 10pm at night – and then trawling through emails when you get home. 

Won’t there be burn out, de-motivation, missed opportunities, staff conflict, forgetfulness, drop in school improvements, lack of sustainability, short-temperedness, exhaustion, resentment, staff copying our behaviour, mistakes, distrust,  the list goes on…

Also, what is the bigger picture here?  What is the cost to your life?  There is a HUGE cost – which is essentially you and the things you want in life.   

What does it REALLY take to have a good, outstanding even, model of leadership and keep all your commitments?

Download my FREE head teacher work/life balance leadership exercise HERE:


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