Executive leaders, including school chief administrators, overwhelmingly agree that, "It's lonely at the top." According to a study conducted by Stanford University's Center for Leadership Development, over 60% of the top leaders do NOT receive outside coaching or mentorship. The twist in this survey is that nearly all of these people WANT IT!
Professional development is advocated by all school administrators as a key for faculty effectiveness, but what about you? How are you growing to enhance your effectiveness and quality of life?
Looking back on when my first few years in the role as chief administrator, I would have made a much more valuable contribution to my teachers and students had I taken advantage of a coach rather than going through those learning experiences on my own. On the job training has unintended consequences--for the rookie principal as well as the seasoned superintendent.
If you decide to seek coaching to accelerate your professional development as a school designer, below are some questions to guide the evaluation of your options because leadership coaching may be your best asset.
1. Do you have a complete understanding of your strengths, instincts, and unique genius? Who can help you further your knowledge of YOU and guide you in the development of your administrative team and work environment?
2. What are the top three challenges that will keep you from achieving the school of your dreams? What skills will help you overcome these barriers and who can most effectively mentor you in this development?
3. What resources will your coach provide for some of the more common responsibilities and risks of school leadership?
4. How will you adjust your coach-ability factor to maximize the results of this influence in your life?
5. What are your top goals for yourself and your school? How can your coach best contribute to this achievement?
6. Will you genuinely respond to coaching input and direction, meeting deadlines through disciplined leadership?
7. What materials and methods will your coach include that will enable the development of your mission, strategies, culture, and results?
This year can be a Pivot Point in your leadership and in the life of your school, where you build momentum in the direction you've always wanted to go but have been limited by the status quo. Make this a year to remember and consider how you can use a professional coach to invest in your growth.