What makes a good school leader?

leadership strengthsIt’s a tough one isn’t it?  Can you be taught good school leadership or is there a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ that one has naturally?

I guess the question is what = good leadership in a school context.  Many of my clients have challenges with striking the balance between being an educational professional and being authentically themselves.

I can think of numerous examples from school leader clients – all whom have had serious concerns that they must not appear ‘weak’, ‘unprofessional’ or ‘‘get it wrong’.  They have it that they must be ‘strong’ as a leader and they must be the one who is demonstrating this strength 24/7.  In some contexts when this belief about being strong has become so fierce – the sad result is a huge demand on themselves to work, work, work to prove they are not letting anyone down or showing any weakness.

Of course this is exhausting and in some cases has had a serious affect on their health, performance and actually enjoyment of their school leadership role.  I mean who wants to spend most of their long working day running around school like a headless chicken and it seeming as if the end is never in site?  Exhausting!!

One of the key things we explore in school leadership coaching is dispelling some of the myths around what ‘good, ‘strong’ or indeed ‘weak’ leadership is.  We consciously look at the purpose of being much more at cause of school leadership.  This means exploring existing leadership behaviours and qualities and making conscious choices about which ones to keep.  This is a wonderful opportunity to really acknowledge the intrinsic leadership skills that already exist and identify where growth lies.

How is your school leadership – do you fall into a pattern of leadership behaviours with the events that come your way?  OR do you decide how you want to be as a school leader – choosing all the time how you are going to respond?

Thoughts or feedback?  Do comment and let me know…   Nicci.

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