PRINCIPALS: Does everyone on your staff know what's most important?
By Scott Schimmel
You have a lot of people on your staff- it’s a big team. The personalities- even bigger still. There are some crusty old-timers and some fresh-faced newcomers. Introverts and extraverts. Tech-savvy and pencil-and-paper types. Some of them have been through several leadership changes. They’ve seen administrators and district leaders come and go. They’ve been through multiple initiatives and rollouts throughout the years, dozens of hours of staff meetings, PD workshops, and training.
Now you’re here on this campus leading this school for this time to steward the vision and effectively move the organization forward. Towards what? How? Does everyone on your staff really know what’s most important?
More importantly: do you?
Aligning everyone on your team to a common vision and to a common set of core values that are consistently embodied is the fundamental work of leadership. It’s certainly not easy to do or quick to implement.
But if you could facilitate a process for the different groups of stakeholders to capture the vision and lead them to understand the behaviors and commitments necessary to realize that vision, you’d be able to get everyone on the same page moving in the same direction. What could you accomplish together if you were on the same page?
What does a process that aligns everyone on your team look like? How do you gather the different groups to engage in thoughtful discussion to really see and own the vision? It’s one thing to tell them what the vision is, it’s another thing for them to be captivated by it.
How do you help everyone know what’s most important when they come to work every day- not just instruction and academic outcomes but the ways in which they go about engaging students? How do you express the urgency to change without creating unproductive and unhelpful anxiety in the culture?
Are these the kinds of questions you wrestle with?
In our work with dozens of principals in diverse school settings over the years, we’ve developed a simple-but-hard process to work through that any principal at any site can implement. We call it our Culture Roadmap, and rather than being prescriptive about what you need to do, we come alongside leaders to help them work step-by-step within their context to move the entire organization forward.
There is a way to get everyone on your staff infected by a captivating vision for student flourishing. There is a way to get everyone on your staff working together consistently to expect big things, to challenge every student, to care for every student, and to model for them what wellness and wholeness can look like as adults.
Let us know if you’d like to set up a time with us to learn more about your challenges and opportunities to reshape your culture. With no commitment to working with us, even the conversation would be valuable for you to have an outside sounding board.