6 Tips for Setting Your Leadership Team Up for Success

Vol. 16 No. 1

head eletter vol16 no1 six

No one said it would easy being the School Head. Between implementing your school’s strategic plan, creating a safe and welcoming environment, and ensuring every decision falls in line with the mission, you have a lot on your plate. Therefore, it’s imperative that you’re able to rely on your direct reports—your Leadership Team—to help support you on a day-to-day basis.

The Head is responsible for making sure the team can flourish, allowing them the time and resources to be effective. These school’s administrators must:

  • Understand how to operate independently, while keeping the school’s mission and strategy in clear focus
  • Lead on behalf of the school as a whole, while still furthering divisional or departmental objectives
  • Place the professional growth and evaluation of the faculty members who report to them as a first priority
  • Empower teachers to strive for excellence and allow them the resources to do so

So how do you, as School Head, help the Leadership Team succeed? Keep the following tips in mind:

  1. View all members of your Leadership Team as managers and leaders, rather than project coordinators. Expect them to commit to their own professional growth and allow their primary functions to be nurturing and empowering the faculty.
  2. Expect all administrators to support and evaluate their direct reports. They must assess the staff’s performance, potential, and commitment to your school and its mission, as well as each individual's character and integrity.
  3. Value the performance of each member of your Leadership Team, rather than focusing on seniority or longevity.
  4. Attach pay to performance so that the expectations of personal/professional growth and excellence in performance are clearly related to the school’s growth.
  5. Lobby the Board to allocate funding for this pay-to-administrative-performance link in the quadrennial strategic plan/strategic financial plan.
  6. Incorporate leadership performance-specific expectations into the assessments of your administrators, using available data when possible to determine if goals were met.

A strong Leadership Team upon which the Head can delegate duties and trust to move the mission forward is vital to a school’s success. Keep these tips in mind to help bolster their skills and create a cohesive school environment.

Additional ISM Resources:
The Source for School Heads Vol. 10 No. 7 Characteristics (of Professional Excellence) Aren’t Just for Hiring

Additional ISM resources for Gold Consortium members:
I&P Vol. 28 No. 15 The Role of the Academic Management Team
I&P Vol. 31 No. 2 Management and Leadership Training for Academic Administrators (Part One)
I&P Vol. 31 No. 4 Management and Leadership Training for Academic Administrators (Part Two)

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