Trust and the Principal.

Everyone who begins a new tenure at a school as the Principal hears the same advice: (including from Principal Matters!)  don’t start making changes right away, and maybe not any big changes in your first year at all.

You’ve heard that.  It most usually holds true.  The ‘why’ of it, however, isn’t always discussed.

It’s pretty simple.  People reserve their full effort until they trust you as the leader. 

An initiative you lead after you’ve gained the trust of your team has very different outcomes than one you initiate before they’re ready to join you.  Of course, there are always leaders who fail to heed this advice and plunge in anyway.  Some of them aren’t given a choice by their supervisors and are called upon to do immediate changes.

If you begin to make too many changes before you’ve earned trust, now you run the risk that not only do they not trust you, but they are not sure they can trust your judgment.  (Others often view the leader’s judgment along with the results; if you push something before you gain trust and it flops, then your judgment falls into question and you’re further set back in your journey to gain their trust.)

OK, here’s how it plays out in practice.  Sometimes it is really necessary to change some things sooner than you’d like.  If your teachers are yelling or disrespecting students, that’s nothing you can wait on.  If you have staff who leave their classes unattended, don’t come to work on time (or at all!) you can’t wait on that either.  If there are practices that a reasonable person would consider to be unsafe, you have to get going on those as well.

Success falls upon the prudent more than the overly-cautious or the impulsive.  Do what must be done, and then gain the necessary trust to do what should be done.

Your staff probably can be divided up into those who are quick to trust, those who may never fully trust, and the overwhelmingly largest group (68%… you know the bell curve) who are waiting to see which of the first two groups are correct!  For those, trust is a function of time, a matter of developing relationships, and observably consistent behavior on your part (i.e.- what you do and what you say match up)

Trust will come (if you are trust-worthy) over time, and then moving the organization forward becomes a much different (and more effective) task.

Funny thing about earning trust… takes much longer to earn than to lose.  Being a person who can be trusted, a leader who seeks the best for her people, a team member who sets aside his personal agenda for the better of the school.. that’s how you can keep trust once you’ve gained it.


On Monday Night (from 8:00-9:00 PM EDT) you can access the first episode of season two of “The New Principal Show.”  Our topic:  Trust and the Principal.

You can join the LIVE show here:  The New Principal Show! LIVE .   If you miss it, you can catch the recording as a podcast here:  Podcast: TNPS! .

© 2018.  Dr. Mark D. Wilson.  All Rights Reserved.

Season Two

The New Principal Show! August 13- Season Two Debut

Being a Principal is the greatest job ever!

AND, it’s really a challenge.

You need to be in conversation with other practitioners.  We provide the opportunity for you to do so without leaving your home.

The New Principal Show! is back for Season Two and begins on Monday, August 13.   From 8-9 PM at this link:  https://www.gotomeet.me/principal-matters

  • We have a LIVE show once each month;
  • Each live show is posted as a podcast the next day at https://thenewprincipalshow.podbean.com/
  • We have additional, new podcasts weekly at the same site.

At the LIVE shows, you have a chance to:

  • interact with other practitioners;
  • use the chat function to talk about topics via text;
  • use the microphone function to talk to others and literally join the conversation;
  • get support and encouragement from others who want you to be successful!

There’s no charge; we aren’t selling anything.  We just want you to do well.

Join us.  Details below, including the schedule for this year!

Season Two

 

© 2018.  Dr. Mark D. Wilson.  All Rights Reserved.

Better Together: The Principal Experience

It’s amazing to hear principal-after-principal, independent of each other, talk about how they once “thought they could do it all” before realizing school leadership is better when done collaboratively.

It’s also a profession, requiring of you sound judgment in unpredictable situations.  You can learn a lot from others who have done, or are doing, the same job as you.

Don’t try do it all alone!

The position of principal can be lonely… but it doesn’t have to be, and it shouldn’t be!  Building networks with other colleagues can help inform your practice, keep you going when things are tough, and give you connections that help you better serve your school.

To support you in your work, please find the following episode of The New Principal Show! 

[podbean type=audio-square resource=”episode=7xrau-741f73″ skin=”1″ auto=”0″ height=315 ]

Our guest hosts for episode five are quick to testify about the power of the principal making connections.  Stephanie Johnson is the Deputy Superintendent of the Georgia Department of Education and was the 2017 Georgia High School Principal of the Year (GASSP) and a finalist for National Principal of the Year (NASSP) for the work she led at Maynard H. Jackson High School in Atlanta (Atlanta Public Schools).

Jim Finch is the Principal of Mary Persons High School in Monroe County (Forsyth) and is the Vice-President of the Georgia Association of Secondary School Principals (GASSP).

Along with a live chat-audience, Stephanie, Jim, and Mark take time to talk about how and why the effective principal connects and how it’s beneficial for the progress of the school.

The New Principal and Instructional Leadership

When superintendents ask me if I know good candidates for principal positions, I always ask them what they’re looking for, but I know what they’ll say.

“We’re looking for… an instructional leader.”

With our focus on learning and student growth, it’s what you need to be to do what you need to do.

As the new principal, you’re a lot like a freshman in college.  Not only are you tasked with challenging work, but you’re getting acclimated to a new place, new people, and a new lifestyle.  Sometimes for that college freshman, the main thing can get swallowed up by lots of other adjustments.

The same thing can happen to you as a new principal.  That’s why it’s important to keep your focus on instruction and your leadership growth in that area.  To support you in that work, we hosted an episode of The New Principal Show! in season one with  amazing co-hosts Cindy Saxon and Casey Bethel to help you in your work as an instructional leader.  As we get ready for season TWO  of TNPS!, we are re-delivering you last year’s shows to get you back in the swing.  Please enjoy this one whenever you listen to podcasts!

[podbean type=audio-square resource=”episode=shs6j-70f1de” skin=”1″ auto=”0″ height=315 ]

MW

© 2018 Mark D. Wilson

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The New Principal Show! Live from Summer GAEL- A Recap

Principals, APs and other school leaders gathered yesterday at Jekyll Island at the Summer GAEL Conference for our LIVE session to support new principals.

Our topics included discussions on the previous two blogposts found here:  Principles for New Principals  ( https://principal-matters.com/2018/07/11/guiding-principles-for-new-principals/ ) and This! Not That! (https://principal-matters.com/2018/07/11/this-not-that-twelve-practical-steps-towards-successful-school-leadership/ )

We also heard from three leaders who have accomplished the chief goal of first-year principals:  they are now second-year principals!  Dr. Susan Stone of Jasper County and Tanya Welchel and John Rhodarmer of Floyd County shared some of the “You Won’t Believe This” moments from their first year in the principalship.

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Here’s the reason those stories need to be told:  you really don’t get a course in college to prepare you for every circumstance that might come your way.  These wonderful folks did well because they were adaptable, nimble and confident.

There’s no instruction booklet to cover all of the possibilities that come your way in school leadership.  You are able to do more than survive-  you can thrive IF you are able to rely on your experience, your knowledge, and the core of who you are to make good decisions and do the right things.

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Who YOU are will determine what your school achieves.  The most effective school leaders work on themselves first– not out of selfishness, but out of an understanding that your growth is critical for that of your school’s.  That’s why our hope is that you’ll never stop learning, and that you’ll make room for your own growth.

Here’s to a great year of learning! We’ll try to make it convenient for you.

MW

©2018 Mark D. Wilson

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Guiding Principles… for New Principals

It’s July and that means that we have new principals taking their places at their schools.  Congratulations!

It’s our passion here to support you (as well as veteran principals, APs and aspiring leaders) in your work.  Today we share some insight in the form of an infographic… something called “The New Principal:  Guiding Principles for Success.”

Over the coming months. we’ll dig into these individual notions about the work of principals.  For today, thanks for giving it a look and reflecting on your feelings and thoughts about these guiding ideas of the incredible job of being a principal.

Principles for New Principals: Click Here for the PDF Version

Principles for New Principals

© 2018 Mark D. Wilson

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This! Not That. Twelve Practical Steps Towards Successful School Leadership

School leaders are doers.  They are also dreamers, negotiators, and experts in human behavior, but as a group, we like to do things.

In that spirit, we share with you this list of twelve practical steps towards successful school leadership.  Each of these steps is a “This! Not That!” for simplicity.  Don’t be fooled; the ideas behind them aren’t simplistic.

Each of these steps is a lesson unto itself, and we’ll take up those lessons in the coming days here at Principal Matters!  For now, here’s the list of This!  Not That! (School Leader Version)

Do This! Not That!.png

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Communication for the New Principal

We had an amazing show in season 1 of “The New Principal Show” on Communication.  As we get ready for the Launch of Season 2 in the coming days, we are reviewing last year’s shows, and are proud to share with you again Kevin Paul Scott, Jayne Ellspermann, and Octavius Mulligan’s conversation on communication for the school leader.

[podbean type=audio-square resource=”episode=z24ij-6d9e58″ skin=”1″ auto=”0″ height=315 ]

Enjoy the show!

MW

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The First Work of The New Principal

Are you a new principal?  Maybe you aspire to be one.  Perhaps you were a new one LAST year (and now you know enough to be nervous!) ?

Wherever you might be on the continuum, we hope we can support your work here at Principal Matters!  As we move towards the upcoming Second Season of The New Principal Show!, we are sending out episodes from last year’s debut season.

This episode is one that emphasizes what to do when you’re new… when you’re first new.  Our guests for this episode are Garrick Askew, Amy Thornton, and Paul Shaw.  Please give it a listen as we get ready for the new season coming soon!

Enjoy!

[podbean resource=”episode=pxhr5-6d4ed6″ type=”audio-rectangle” height=”100″ skin=”1″ btn-skin=”107″ share=”1″ fonts=”Helvetica” auto=”0″ download=”0″ rtl=”0″]

 

so many things

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You’re the Principal. Now What?!?

the new principal Show! Podcast[podbean type=audio-rectangle resource=”episode=c48jj-6d23b4″ skin=”1″ auto=”0″ height=100 ]

Good news!  Season TWO of TNPS (The New Principal Show!) begins in a couple of weeks.  We are reposting episodes from season one as we get ready for the new season! During 2017-2018, we debuted “The New Principal Show”; this year, it’s going to be even bigger!

Enjoy this re-release of “The New Principal Show! Podcast: S1E1” and get ready for a big release about the NEW SEASON of the show, coming soon!

 

 

 

The New Principal Show! Support for First-Year Principals; Debuts Tuesday 7/18

Schools need great leaders; great leaders need to get off to the right start.  That’s why we’re launching The New Principal Show!, beginning Tuesday, July 18, accessible anywhere at gotomeet.me/principal-matters .

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Not a new effort, but a new design to reach more people.  This will be the sixth year that we’ve been supporting principals, particularly supporting new principals and we’re excited to make the support accessible to everyone, wherever you may be! 

Over the past few summers, it’s been a privilege to work with first-year principals in advance of the launch of their administrations.  Literally hundreds of principals have come to one of the many events we’ve hosted across Georgia.  While we still have some of those events scheduled this summer (“Successful Beginnings” at Pioneer RESA on 7/19; First District RESA on 8/11 and West Georgia RESA on 8/18) it’s exciting to add this twelve-episode series that can be accessed by principals not only in particular areas, but anywhere you have a device and connectivity.

How will the show work?  We’ll cover a small number of topics that are pertinent for first-year principals during each episode.  The first episode (Tuesday, July 18, 8:00 PM EDT) features discussions about the following:  Be Yourself; Listen; Take Notes; and Find Out Why.  

We’ll be joined on each episode by guest hosts who are experts in the field, practitioners, or thought leaders who can support your work.  Episode One features Dr. Torian White, the Principal of Southeast Bulloch Middle School and Debra Murdock, 2014 Georgia High School Principal of the Year, and currently Executive Director for Administrative Leadership, Cherokee County Schools.

The other stars of these shows will be you.  Each show will have a chat platform where you can make comments, ask questions, share info, and be an interactive participant in the learning.

If you ARE a new principal, please join us; if you know one, please let them know this resource is available, free, and waiting for them!

 

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