Shared leadership from a traditional authoritative leadership perspective can look like a hippy commune. Looking in it would be difficult to pinpoint exactly what the leader is doing. Staff members would be taking the lead in multiple areas and even instructing the titular leader with the “best” way to do things.
To be a principal with a shared leadership philosophy you have to, likeDr. Marcus Jackson principal and educational leader says, “put down the ego soup and take a bite of humble pie.” As the principal of the school you have to find the strengths of your staff and put them in the best position to be successful. You don’t have to control everything.
These 3 strategies will help answer the question, how do I become a great principal with a shared leadership philosophy?
Build Trust by asking for assistance
As the new Principal, one of the first things I did was to ask for help. I was looking to create a schedule that accommodated the needs of the staff while still providing building level support for students. By asking for help in making a daily schedule I was able develop trust by clearly showing that I was taking their needs into consideration. Asking for help demonstrates vulnerability and makes it clear that you don’t believe that you have all the answers.
Create community through inclusion
Rarely is the truth simple and everyone’s truth is different. However, a meeting in which multiple perspectives are raised, and received knowing kind intent, is one worth having. These are the meetings we leave feeling purposeful and connected. Meetings of this kind are rare. They’re often unexpected and hard to come by but these are the meetings in which the entire staff grows because everyone has an opportunity to contribute.
Be sincerely grateful
Not surprisingly, the idea of appreciation is a theme that runs through the shared leadership philosophy. Giving the gift of gratitude demonstrates the honor you feel for having a staff member performing and leading well. A simple handwritten card is a great gift and can uplift the sagging spirits of a teacher. Be simple and concrete in your thank you note so it’s not an empty platitude. Plan to read the note in front of staff and/or students. Public acknowledgement is key in demonstrating the respect you have for the work they’re doing.
As the principal of the building you have to decide what your core beliefs are and how you want to lead. Depending on the situation you often have to wear multiple leadership “hats”. Building trust, creating community through inclusion, and being sincerely grateful will help create a shared leadership foundation from which you can build other leadership attributes.
What are other shared leadership strategies that you find effective. Share your experience in the comment section below.
If you’re a principal make sure you check out the new grant/scholarship available that honors the hard work you put in on a daily basis. K12 principals click here to learn more
For more short articles and tips that support educational leaders check out my blog at the http://www.theprincipalentrepreneur.com/ and/or pre order my newest book How To Be A Great Principal: 36 Shared Leadership Success Strategies. If you’re an auditory learner you can download my podcast The Principal Entrepreneur, new episodes weekly. To join the podcast as a guest email me at email@example.com. Finally, I’m part of a community of supportive principals please join our private FB group.
I'm a Principal and an Entrepreneur. I'm the former owner of a food venture Hustling Hoagies, the author of the children's picture books Detective Dwayne Drake and the Alphabet Thief, Detective Dwayne Drake and The Case of the Mathematical Misfit and the ebook Making it as a Male Model in Michigan. I've worked professionally as a model and commercial actor......