Effective Education Leaders are Good Risk Assessors and Managers
As an education leader, you need to find and address risk so you can positively impact the outcome by handling that risk in the best way possible. They often say, “there is no reward, without risk.” However, effective education leaders know which risks to take and which not to take.
Risk assessment and management in action
Let me give you a scenario. In a lot of areas of the U.S., school districts lease their school buildings out to other organizations, after hours and on the weekend. Your district leases some of its buildings to a church and also a university that uses them to house a satellite campus. Things have been going well, but the university payments have started to become increasingly late. I mean 30 to 60 days.
Do you bring this up to their president, or do you say nothing out of fear of jeopardizing the arrangement? Your school uses this money to make up for funding shortfalls, and can ill afford to lose this revenue stream. As the superintendent, you assess the situation and decide to schedule a meeting with the president.
At the meeting, you ask the president if they are happy with your services, and he says yes. Then you bring up the issue at hand, and he seems puzzled. He was under the impression that we were being paid every month on time. He informs you he will look into the matter, and you can consider it fixed. He also thanks for you letting them know and walks you out to your car. The problem is fixed permanently, and your risk was rewarded.
I used this scenario to illustrate how responsible risk management looks and how you can decide if a risk is worth taking. As a rule of thumb, remember that high risks usually bring high rewards and low risks often bring low rewards. This rule also illustrates the potential rewards that come with each level of risk. If you let your leadership character light the way, you can’t go wrong?