Effective Education Leaders Mentor Potential Education Leaders
It is one thing to identify your star teachers and administrators, but you also need to cultivate their success and help them grow within your school district. To effectively lead a growing number of people, you need to empower your top performers and allow them to help you realize your vision. I define a leader by the number of people they turn into leaders. They find potential leaders within their organization and help them become leaders in their own right.
Finding potential mentees
How can you mentor potential leaders? First, observe members of your leadership team or within the teaching ranks that show emerging leadership skills and the potential to be great leaders. Schedule a day and time to take them to lunch and discuss their career goals. Let them know that they have leadership potential, and if they are willing, you can help them through the process.
Set up a weekly, bi-monthly, or monthly meeting to discuss their progress. You can help them along the way by sending them articles, books, or videos that will help them boost their leadership skills. Assign them tasks that will help build their leadership character, and as time goes on, assign them duties that get progressively more nuanced and challenging.
Your job as a mentor never ends, although there may come a time when you meet or talk less frequently. Your mentee will eventually receive a new position, either within or outside of your district. You will need to find a new mentee and start the process all over. If you did your job right, your mentees will take on mentors of their own, and your leadership influence will continue to grow.
Without even trying, you will find that you have created a leadership pipeline that will ensure that your district is never short on leaders, as they have been all homegrown, waiting for an opportunity to serve.