How To Demonstrate Your Education Leadership Potential
Before becoming a full-time entrepreneur, I spent 15 years in teaching and leadership positions in K-12 and higher education. One of the things that I wished I had of done a better job of was demonstrating my leadership ability. If you are struggling with the same issue, keep reading, because I have some tips to share. In this piece, I will discuss how you can demonstrate your education leadership potential.
Be passionate about what you do. As an education leader, if you want to show your leadership potential, be passionate about what you do. From the time that you step in the school building until the time you leave, let your love for teaching and learning be evident. Display an energetic passion for your employees and students and make them feel as though you have their best interest at heart. If you are faking, believe me, most people will be able to see right through you. There may be some days when you are feeling burned out, and you can’t wait until the weekend or until the next holiday break. That’s fine, but never let them see you fret. This is difficult, so you better brush up on your acting skills. Don’t worry, it will all pay off, and your higher-ups will clearly see your unbridled passion for education as a sign of leadership potential.
Be a voracious reader. Knowledge is power, and this maxim is certainly true in the education field. As an education leader, you need to be an expert in the teaching and learning process. So be sure to read up on new edtech tools, education trends, etc. As a rule of thumb, an aspiring education leader should be reading at least 4 books per month and at least 20-30 articles per month. Also, you need to have general knowledge about politics, sports, fashion, pop culture, etc. Basically, you need to be able to garner a respectable score if you were playing a game of Jeopardy. Why? Because running a school requires knowledge about a wide variety of topics and most don’t center around the field of education. Also, when attending meetings with your boss, you want them to get the impression that you are a cultured, intelligent person with talents and expertise that go beyond education. For some reason people are impressed by that sort of thing.
Listen. If you want to demonstrate your potential as a potential education leader, make sure you listen at least twice as much more than you talk. Not only does this allow you to fully understand a situation or problem before speaking, but it also gives other people the impression that you are measured, intelligent, caring, thoughtful, patient, etc. Nothing frustrates people more than someone who dominates a conversation without actually listening to what others are saying.
Be selfless. Let’s face it, no one likes a selfish person. When the going gets rough, you can always count on them to do what’s in their own self-interest, even if it means that other people are negatively affected by their actions. Because of this, no one trusts a selfish person either. We don’t confide in them or let them in on secrets because we don’t believe that our conversation will remain private. To the contrary, we know that if it helps them achieve their goals, they will spill our most intimate thoughts, and in effect, sell us out. Of course, higher-ups are no different. Why would they hire an education leader that only looks out for themselves, and in effect, doesn’t know how to be a team player. At the end of the day, selfish leaders are not very reliable, and so when see a potential education leader who displays traits of selfishness, we tend to pass over them when its time to make promotions.
Earn it. At the end of the day, if you want something in this world, you have to earn it. We know that there are exceptions to the rule. You know, nepotism, the good ole boy system, the buddy/buddy system, etc. However, if you go out and work your butt off to land an education leadership position, you won’t have to rely on brownnosing or sucking up to land a position. Also, if you decide to leave your state or country for that matter, you can be sure that your skills and level of expertise will travel.
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