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Regardless of the “theory” we embrace most often, getting to the next level of leadership calls for purposeful practice. Moving from novice to expert is an intentional act. For example, if we want to be better conflict managers, team builders, or communicators, we have to seek opportunities that build our skills in these areas.

To advance our agenda, we need to capitalize on the resources around us. If we keep our agenda to ourselves, people become confused; or worse, they see it as self-serving. Our goals should support our true intentions. Leaders who maintain hidden agendas are less likeable and approachable.

The keystone to vaulting our agenda forward is to give it a “high five.” Precision, power, and purpose will point us in the right direction. Here’s how:

Focus: Every leader talks about it, but very few actually do it. Too many board goals, too many competing priorities, and too many teams working on “crucial” projects send employees in every direction. Yet, our brains can only focus on one or two things at a time. If we want to move the district’s agenda forward with fidelity, it should have no more than one or two items on it. Focus is about thinking in teaspoons, not gallons.

Intentionality: Education is fraught with ambiguity. However, intentional leaders gaze beyond the next wave to see the distant shore. Drawing upon our self-awareness allows us to tactically (and tactfully) navigate the cultural landscape. Although we may not be able to predict every situation, we can determine how we respond. Intentionality keeps us from becoming victims of our circumstances. It also perpetuates a sense of ownership throughout the organization.

Value-centered: As a group, “rock star” CEOs have a poor track record. Short-term shake-ups can leave long-term scars. Character, substance, and integrity have more value than charisma, style, and image. Value-centered leaders recognize that their job is to serve students and empower employees. To achieve this status, a high priority is placed on harmony and honesty. Respect is earned by keeping our word.

Enthusiasm: No one wants to follow someone who’s simply going through the motions. For people to be excited about our agenda, we have to be excited about it first. Enthusiastic leaders inspire confidence in their team. They also look for every opportunity to shine a spotlight on the positive things happening in their district. When others feel good about their work, it creates a ripple effect.


Article taken from Galileo for Superintendents. To learn more about this publication, please visit: www.masterteacher.com/Publication-for-Superintendents

Thought for the Week

Simply pulling a strategy “off the shelf” or defaulting to the most recently read article or staff development session topic may not generate the results we seek.

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