Effective Educational Leaders Do These 14 Things Every Day

  1. Create a safe teaching and learning environment. Everyone in your district or school district should feel safe when they walk on campus. To accomplish this, you need to create a security plan that is second to none and hire the best people to enact it.
  2. Make others feel safe to speak up. You should make sure that everyone has the freedom to voice their opinions and concerns. You must model this every day by having an approachable leadership presence.
  3. Make tough decisions. Education leadership requires you to make hundreds of leadership decisions a day, and each one is important. Don’t be afraid to make tough decisions, regardless of how others will feel. Remember, do what is in the best interest of the students.
  4. Express expectations. Everyone in your charge should know what you expect of them on a day to day basis. They should be able to perform in a way that aligns with your district’s core values and mission and furthers the vision that you have set.
  5. Challenge others to find their own solutions. Instead of being the hero and attempting to solve your staff’s problems, empower them with the tools that they need to be self-sufficient.
  6. Be accountable. If you make promises, keep them. If you make a mistake, admit it. If you do something hypocritical, recognize and acknowledge it. Being accountable to yourself and others will make it easier for you to hold them accountable.
  7. Be an example. Successful education leaders practice what they preach. This may sound easy to do, but for many, it is quite tricky. You have to realize that wrong or right, you are always on stage, and your detractors are waiting for you to contradict yourself. Practicing what you preach on a day to day basis while probably be one of the hardest leadership skills you ever master.
  8. Give continuous feedback. Teachers and staff want to know that what they do matters. So, make it a point to provide them with constructive feedback every day.
  9. Grow talent. On a day to day basis, you have to put your staff in a position to develop and showcase their abilities. This is the best way to help them grow professionally
  10. Ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Not to sound redundant, but as I say in a lot of my leadership articles, the smartest people in the room are not afraid to ask questions.
  11. Don’t procrastinate. Why put off until tomorrow, what can be done today? Avoiding procrastination can help you prevent burning out by helping to keep your workload within a manageable range.
  12. Be Mr. or Mrs. Sunshine. Every day cannot be perfect, and the truth of the matter is that sometimes they can be nightmares. In spite of it all, you have to exude a positive attitude, even if you are angry or frustrated on the inside. Botton line, sometimes you will have to fake it.
  13. Be an instructional leader. I don’t know when instructional leadership stopped being a requirement for educational leadership positions, but this seems to be a trend. As the leader of your school, you are required to be one of, if not the best teachers in your school. If you are not, how will you help your teachers grow their pedagogical and classroom management skills?
  14. Invest in people. I know that you are so busy and you don’t have time for chit chat, but sometimes it has to be done. You need to get to know your staff on a human level to understand how to help them be the best educator they can be.

What did I miss? What else do effective leaders do on a day to day basis?

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