Being a principal is a GREAT job; you can make a difference in the lives of lots of people, kids as well as adults.
Being a principal is also a DIFFICULT job; you find yourself in the middle most of the time.
The people who have entrusted you with the helm of the school rightfully expect that under your leadership there will be academic success. You don’t teach classes anymore; your path to influence academic performance comes in your connections with your teachers.
You always face this target: finding the right balance to establish a positive workplace + raise expectations of performance.
To make it more interesting, the climate/expectations graph looks a little different for each of your teachers.
Please remember this: there are consequences to actions. Some consequences are positive and intended; others can be negative and unintentional. Your actions DON’T live in a vacuum. Something happens and it may even affect your people disproportionately.
As you lead your school, it’s easy to be reactionary to outside influences (mandates, new programs, pressure). You can do what you like… but there are going to consequences of what you choose to do.
It’s easy to underestimate the influence you have on the people of your school. You THINK they don’t hear you, but they do. They hear you through your tone, your body language, and your words. They see your actions and see what matters the most to you. They feed off of your energy and your vibe.
If you aren’t careful, you can lead your faculty into a sense of panic. That may lead them to behaving chaotically, and that’s not their best suit. Watch your words and your body language. There are consequences to creating a sense of panic.
On the other end of the scale is a sense of complacency. It’s just as bad. If your people feel defeated, uninspired, don’t care… you will find success elusive.
Between the extremes is a better place… where people feel a sense of healthy urgency. Not panicked… not checked out. Working with passion but within control. Confident in their abilities and committed to the work. THAT’S where to be. As the leader, how do you get them there?