3 Steps to Becoming a Better Strategic School Leader
School leaders are now expected to be more strategic in their running of schools and to become more proactive in facing up to these contextual challenges using various strategies. Many school leaders are struggling to become better education leaders and are looking for practical steps that they can follow. In this piece, I will outline 3 easy steps that school leaders can follow to become better strategic leaders.
1. At the end of the week, reflect.
On Friday evening or on the weekend, pull out your to-do list and goals, your calendar and reflect on what was accomplished and what is still outstanding. Think about what you are proud of. This step is meant to help you pinpoint gaps and celebrate successes. It also enables you to organize your thoughts heading into the next week.
2. Plan the week ahead.
Now its time to take out your calendar and plan for the week ahead. What meetings, trainings, or events do you have coming up? What do you need to do to prepare? What small task and massive projects need to be completed by the end of the week? Next, create a to-do list that integrates all of the things that need to be completed or addressed during the next week. Make sure you put your to do list in a place that is visible, so you see it all the time. This will keep you on task. Pro tip: there are plenty of apps that will keep you organized and help you keep track of your to-dos; the key is not settling on the first one you find. Take a few for a test spin and find out which one works for you. If you want to keep it simple, just use a Word doc to keep track of your upcoming tasks.
3. Say no, delegate, or delay.
As a school leader, you are always busy. Based on the tasks that you have on your calendar, your personal or family commitments, and projects that need to be completed during the current or next week, you have more obligations than you have time to achieve them. Instead of burning yourself out, think strategically. Ask yourself the following four questions to determine what you can complete and what you need to delegate or delay.
• What takes priority?
• What should you be saying “No” to?
• What can you delegate to someone else?
• What do you have to delay?
After you have ruminated on these questions, you should have a more defined plan of what needs to be delegated and what you can complete yourself. Now you are ready to tackle the new week. And just like that, you have become a better strategic school leader.