Effective Education Leaders Turn Their Vision into Reality
There are people all over the world who think they have great ideas. Unfortunately, as great as those ideas might be, they will never go anywhere if no one else knows about it. Education leaders are lucky as they get to share their vision and ask people to buy into their ideas. Not only can education leaders share their vision, but they also can break that vision down into steps so that they can be understood by others and executed over time.
A step by step process
Let’s look at the process from the viewpoint of a new superintendent, developing a vision for his new district. The first step is taking the time to create a grand vision that is attainable. Make sure that you develop a strategic plan that lays out how the vision will be attained. The second step is to share the plan with a couple of your most trusted advisors. Ask them to read it in-depth and provide notes. Plan a meeting to discuss their concerns and also suggestions.
The third step would be to share the plan with your full leadership team and ask them to vet it, using the same process as you did with your closest advisors. By the full leadership team, I am talking about your deputy and assistant superintendents, along with other central office staff and of course, the full school board. The fourth step would be to share it with each school’s principal and assistant principals and solicit their feedback. The fifth step would be to present it to your harshest critics, the teachers.
The sixth step would be to present it to the school board, and report that you have a majority buy-in from the rest of the district. They have seen the document in its earlier form, but they haven’t seen the revisions that were made as a result of the feedback that you received from educators and other education leaders. As long as you didn’t make any substantial edits, odds are the school district won’t have any major objections.
Once the school board has approved it, the district can hold a public forum to solicit feedback from parents and the rest of the community. This feedback can be used to shape the final version of your strategic plan/vision. One last tip. You need to appreciate the process as much as the outcome and stay committed to your vision come what may.