Ready to Lead? Don't Forget to Ask Yourself These Questions


Are you a teacher getting ready to lead? Or maybe you are already in your first leadership role.

Stepping out of the classroom as a full-time teacher and into more formal school leadership roles brings both excitement and trepidation.

As a leader, you can start to influence more teachers and therefore have a bigger impact on more students. But then the doubt seeps in: do I have what it takes?? You only need one bad experience to question whether leadership is actually for you.

Whether you are a middle leader, literacy leader, instructional coach, HOLA or even a PLC leader, you need a strong sense of who you are as a human and a box of tools to draw from when you need them. Below are the questions you need to be asking yourself as a new leader in schools. 


How well do I know myself as a leader?

How well do I understand my strengths and the things that are likely to trip me up or trigger me?

You probably know who you are as a teacher, but you might need to re-examine both your strengths and your trigger points as a leader. Do you know your personal values, working styles and character strengths? What motivates you, and what annoys you? How do you react to feedback or when you don't know the answer? How do you work when tired and under pressure or when you don't have the time you need to do a thorough job?

How well do I know my team?

How well do I understand the strengths and the potential weaknesses of my team members? Do I know what they value and what motivates them? Do you know what they care about?

You are possibly already friends and colleagues with your team, but have you taken to get to know them as a line manager or leader? Do you know the values, working styles, superpowers, and character strengths of your team?

How clear am I with my team about their roles and responsibilities?

Am I clear with people about what their roles are, what they're responsible for and what they're likely to be held accountable for? Importantly, do I delegate well, allowing people autonomy and choice in how they perform their roles?

You may be tempted to build trust by being “nice”, but clear expectations and accountabilities will provide consistency and clarity for team members.

Have I made it clear to my team who they go to for help and support?

Do my team come to me to fix all their problems, leaving me with a long to-do list? Or maybe they bypass me completely and go to someone else?

It is very easy as a new leader to try and be helpful, taking on more than you should.  It's even worse if your team don’t come to you at all. 

Do I have robust processes for the everyday activities of leadership?

Do I have efficient meeting agendas and processes? Do I have protocols for decision-making and ways to manage my time? Are there clear communication channels and responsibilities?

You probably had excellent organisational structures for planning your day as a teacher, but do you have the tools you need to manage your leadership day?

How well do I know what good contemporary school leadership looks like, and what kind of leader do you want to be?

You will have enough experience in schools to know what good school leaders do and how they make you feel. Sadly, you probably know how “not so good” leaders can de-energise and disempower good teachers. But who do YOU want to be as a leader, and what does the research say good leaders do?

Curious about these questions and keen to work on the answers?

We welcome all aspiring and beginning school leaders to join us for Launching into Leadership.

Join us in person on the 16th and 17th June in Leederville, WA. 


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