Will 2019 be the start of a new season of growth for you and your school? Are you so committed to making this year remarkably successful, that you're resolutely determined to start NOW by making some courageous decisions?
Effective school leadership in a highly competitive market requires a new set of tools and disciplines to sustainably grow.
Below are five critical decisions you can make immediately to Start Your Growth Plan for 2019-20.
Commit to Loving Your Faculty
If you want to be excellent, then hire excellent people and then love them like they are. Unlike in higher ed, the "Faculty" that serves PK-12 students is every employee of the school because the custodian or administrative assistant can have just as much of an instructional relationship with students as the 3rd grade teacher or the English teacher.
The discipline of Talent requires commitment.
- Commit to Listening
Plan your day so that you allow time for engaged conversations with your teachers and staff. They want to know that you genuinely care enough to listen to them talk about themselves, their interests, and their perspectives.
- Commit to Celebrate Successes
Expressing appreciation and affirmation frequently is an effective way to advance cohesiveness of your faculty and build momentum.
- Commit to Learn their Stories
You will be far more effective at loving faculty when you understand their background, their pains, their strengths, their accomplishments, and their dreams. Consider how to document individual stories to share with the entire faculty.
Teachers seldom leave the school--they leave the leadership. Developing the disciplines of Talent and improving your ability to love your faculty will give you a tremendous advantage in growing your school.
Define Your Performance Rubric
Professional educators respond far better to specific expectations. Communicating performance objectives for faculty goes beyond just instructional practice or job results. When they can see how their attitudes and behaviors impact the larger goals of the school, they are more likely to learn and improve.
Every time we've conducted a Talent Audit for a school, the administration prioritizes the capacity to build relationships. Building relationships with students, peers, administrators, parents, and the broader community. So define a performance rubric that provides specific expectations regarding the full range of influences each employee has on the mission, culture, and strategic goals.
Advance Your Talent Quotient
Using your Performance Rubric, take steps NOW to move your TQ higher:
- Learn from your most effective employees to make improvements to your hiring processes. Hire more talented, energized, engaged educators and you will drastically improve your quality of life and your ability to achieve your school growth goals.
- For underperforming faculty, be intentionally about coaching them up or coaching them out. This is one of the hardest parts of school leadership, but they need you to have the courage to have these crucial conversations and make these difficult decisions.
Don't Make Decisions Out of Fear
When determining your plan of action, avoid the dangerous pitfall of making decisions out of fear. Who will you find to replace that underperforming teacher? Will parents or other faculty members be mad at you? What are the political and relational consequences?
Be strong and courageous! Make decisions from a position of discipline and wisdom.
Building a team of engaged educators begins with making that the priority. The executive leadership of the school can delegate many functions, but the two disciplines that cannot be delegated completely are Talent and Communication. Culture is your job and it requires radical devotion to loving your faculty and cultivating a behaviorally healthy organization.