Effective Education Leaders are Involved
Great education leaders can focus their attention on the problem at hand without being distracted. They roll up their sleeves and make sure they are totally engaged in the administrative process. Even when your busy, you need to make sure that you are right there in the trenches with the rest of your team.
Being engaged signals to the rest of your team that everyone works hard and plays a part in the organization’s success. No job or task is insignificant. This will energize your leadership team and the rest of your staff to put in maximum effort. They will be inspired by the fact that you not only talk about changing things for the better, you also are willing to shoulder your fair share of the work.
A case study in aloofness
The concept of being involved is especially important for educational leaders. I personally observed one principal lose the confidence and respect of their teachers and leadership team all because they were uninvolved with the day to day running of the school. Whether it was true or not, since the staff rarely saw the principal in and around the building, they believed that she spent most of their time in their office shopping on the internet while everyone else slaved away. I have no idea where this rumor started, but it spread like wildfire.
She delegated the jobs of instructional leadership and discipline to her assistant principals and instructional coaches, which was a great strategic move on her part. This freed her up to attend meetings, complete paperwork, and complete other pertinent projects. This is to be commended, but in the midst of this, she became uninvolved with the day to day operations of the school. This also fueled the rumors about her laziness and aloofness.
Once she became aware of this rumor, she addressed it head-on in a staff meeting. She then recounted a typical day for her, so employees could understand her lack of presence. She also vowed to become more visible and accessible, as she realized how important it was to the growth that the school so desperately needed. We can debate whether addressing it head-on in a public forum was the best way to handle the situation, but this, coupled with her increased involvement, did the trick, and she managed to gain back the respect and confidence of her staff.