10 Things Successful Education Leaders Do

Whether you are just getting started in your education career or already in a lead administrative role, there are many things you can do to be an effective leader at work. If you’re going to be the boss that everyone wants to hire or work for, you will need to implement certain practices. Here are a few tips gleaned from experts to become a successful education leader:

  1. Close the door

While many educational leaders think an open door policy is best, this can lead to constant distractions and make it impossible to get any work done. Instead, establish office hours when anyone is welcome to come in, perhaps an hour or two out of each day. Also, schedule one-on-one meetings to keep communication in check.

  1. Leave your phone

Don’t use your phone in any sort of meeting, whether it’s with a parent, teacher, or administrator. Even if you use your phone to take notes or review an email with information for the meeting, this can be perceived as rude or inattentive. Switch to using pen and paper, and print out or write down any information from your computer you need beforehand. This shows you prepared for the meeting in advance and are fully present and engaged.

  1. You don’t have to be everybody’s friend

A good leader should be likable but doesn’t have to be liked by everybody. It’s impossible to have every single student, teacher, and faculty member like you. Focus more on being a good leader than on being a friend. When given a choice, pick doing the best job you can over being the most popular person at work, even if that decision may ruffle some feathers.

  1. Recognize your mistakes

Great leaders recognize their failures and take responsibility. They also realize when something isn’t working and are humble enough to admit it, then adjust and make improvements.

  1. Show vulnerability

This ties into recognizing mistakes. Great leaders aren’t infallible. There is strength in showing vulnerability and owning up to mistakes. Setting this example allows team members to own up to their mistakes as well, and creates a less stressful, more productive environment.

  1. Listen

An effective leader is a good listener. Listen to everyone without judgment and hear all sides to an argument or all options before making a decision. Be open to new ideas from unexpected sources, because you never know where positive change can come from.

  1. Be passionate

If you’re not passionate about your school, your students, or your staff, it will show. Not only will your school be miserable, but you will be, too. If you are unhappy in your position, maybe you need to look at a different school, a different position, or a different field altogether. Passion is what drives most people in the education field, and if you don’t have it, it can make your day – and your life – really drag by.

  1. Keep calm and carry on

Good leaders stay calm in a crisis, while still showing that they understand the gravity of the situation. Whether it’s a discipline issue such as a fight or something as serious as a school shooting, a good educational leader should have a plan in place in advance and react calmly but seriously.

  1. Develop your team

Take the time to get to know the strengths, weaknesses, and goals of your team. Give feedback, both good and bad, in a positive and motivational way.

  1. Foster creativity

Old ways of doing things are not always the best ways. Foster creativity and a think-outside-the-box mentality on campus to provide solutions to problems and create new goals.

Whether you are seeking a higher role in the educational field or already working as a supervisor at some level, these tips can help make you a more effective leader and a better boss. Implementing even a few of these guidelines can make a drastic change in your work environment or your attitude towards work. As a leader, positive change in your workplace begins with you.

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