Developing your most important asset – your people

As I progress in my journey and role as an educator, things have become more clear.  This is even true in my new role this year that has presented new challenges and opportunities.  This has provided me a chance to evolve in my thinking around school leadership. I recognize that the impact that I can have within my current role largely depends upon how I can help develop our most important asset – the people within my building. When I reflect upon my growth, I want to learn and grow into a more impactful leader and help others by influencing their thinking, developing their skills and giving them confidence to help influence their growth as a leader. I think this applies in the following ways about developing leadership.

Take aways how your impact can develop people

  1. My leadership skills determine many aspects about how the people I work with can develop into leaders. The impact includes:

A. How many staff can develop into leaders 

B. Quality of people (how they treat each other) 

C. The culture of the school 

E. The impact of the school within our district 

So the question becomes “what do I need to do to help others”.  Here are some strategies I remind myself of to ensure that I am giving my best to the staff I work with:

  • Be Intentional with the time you spend with staff – Spending time with staff in PLC work, classroom visits and hallways is important. Focus that time on building connections or discussing the work of your school. 
  • Find time to reflect with staff about the professional learning so there is a focus on growth – the only way to grow is to reflect about the work that is being done so that there is a focus on learning. This should also focus on data and results.
  • Find ways to move your school forward so there is continual improvement – use the reflection to discuss “next steps” so it becomes the norm to focus on growth.
  • Focus on strengths of staff and school community – everyone has strengths and also areas that could be improved.  Play to your strengths.  Get to know your staff and how they can contribute to your school so that you bring out the best in your people.
  • Model the way – How you as a leader act, spend your time and interact with others will say much about how your staff interacts and responds to others.  You can never go wrong by caring, being humble and being a servant leader. This also starts with listening to staff (and students and families) so everyone feels like they have a vested interest in your school.

2. You attract leaders who you are; not who you want 

Most educators want to work in an environment where they trust their leaders and also know there will be a consistent focus.  As a leader, your character will define how you will be thought of and that causes a ripple effect on how staff treat each other.  Your character starts with integrity and what you model is what people see and emulate.  Character is the foundation of leadership – you cannot lead unless you are a person of high character.

3. You cannot lead people beyond your level of trust and credibility.

Trust is the glue that holds a school organization together. Trust is also the most important factor in relationships.  You build trust be being:

  • Consistency 
  • Honest communication 
  • Being Transparent in your decisions and communication 
  • Humility 

Developing trust takes time and it can also be lost quickly.  When mistakes happen, it is important to be honest and admit mistakes or share your thinking. Always remember, that decisions should not be made in isolation so getting the feedback from others to help make the decisions are important.

4. You cannot lead people beyond your level of commitment

People notice when leaders are present, what part of the school day and at what activities. Staff notice, so do the students and families. It doesn’t mean that one person must be at everything in a school but what it does mean is that you must be willing to invest in your school and find ways to support all facets of the school community. The amount of time is not as important as the quality of the interactions you have with the students in those endeavors, meeting families and making sure you support the staff that are leading those activities.

Leaders recognize that their efforts and work are important to a school. But to create the biggest gains, the leaders must understand how we can be our best and continually improve and this means over time developing our people to their full potential. Now is the time to put intentional practices in place.  This takes an investment of time, energy and effort and pouring into others.  Educators must remember that nothing is easy. In fact, if you want to create a difference then you must be willing to not only lead yourself but learn how to best support your people. This creates the greatest gift a leader can provide to an organization.  It is never too late to change or adapt to create something better. We owe that to our students and staff that we serve. I encourage you to reflect and better understand your role so you can leave your legacy. Comment below or reach out to me at








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A Husband, Father and Principal with a focus on learning, leading and connecting with others.

An educator for 25 years with 14 of those being a building administrator. I have found that the more I learn form others and their experiences it helps me grow and learn as well. I hope you join our journey as we create learning environments for students and staff that create future success.

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