Leadership Commitment – when is it ok to drop your agreements?

commitmentWe all have different styles, different ways of leading or working that we habitually carry on with – almost by default. As a school leader, especially head teachers and principals, the buck stops with you doesn’t it?

How many of us over commit ourselves and then have such a massive workload that there’s bound to be a fall out? Sometimes this is conscious and sometimes we just have so much to think about that we forget.

Happens every day doesn’t it? But when we drop our core agreements and this is habitual – the cost of this behaviour to schools, pupils, teachers and school improvements is HUGE. One of my school clients (deputy head) habitually says YES to any meeting or cover that she is asked – and then of course as she hasn’t even checked her diary, she keeps getting into an awful kerfuffle and ends up missing meetings, running from one thing to another and obviously becoming very stressed because she is constantly chasing her tail. And then there is the working until 9/10pm at night to keep up with emails/reading. Seems to me unless we are willing to look at what is really going on, this hamster wheel of stress and tail-chasing is unlikely to change. These are some of the common themes with my school clients:

  • They’ve said yes but actually haven’t even checked if this is feasible/practical
  • They’ve said yes when actually they haven’t really got space to meet the agreement
  • They’ve said yes because they fear they might upset other people or they’re not being supportive enough
  • They fear there is nobody else who is able or willing to do the job
  • They fear saying no because that would mean being selfish

So the dropping of agreements starts occurring because really when we’ve said yes or went along with something – it was just that. That’s very different from a conscious yes to an agreement that we have wholeheartedly fully committed to. And then there’s the running around talking about how busy we are to meet all these demands we’ve said yes to – bit of a martyr eh?

That’s quite a payoff isn’t it?

Thoughts or feedback? Do comment and let me know…#educationalleadership



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