When we think about how to become a great principal we often talk about the best practices. We discuss the power of shared leadership, strong school culture, safety, and efficient processes and procedures. But we also need to evaluate ourselves and make sure we’re not doing some of the worst practices out there. Some of these practices are built into our personalities and hard to avoid. These three worst practices should be avoided and rooted out at all costs.
Destroying Leadership Potential
Acting as if, and even worse believing, you’re the only one with the answer and the smartest person in the room is one of the worst practices a principal can have. Humans are wired to notice the negative aspects of life. Only providing negative feedback and blaming others when things don't work are two easy ways to destroy any type of self sufficiency in your building. Thinking you’re the only one that can solve the problems others are making adds to this poor practice. Additionally, taking the credit publicly when something is fixed will definitely get you the side eye and could lead to a full scale mutiny.
Neglecting Personal wellness
With the long hours and inconsistent eating schedule finding time to take care of yourself often falls by the wayside. Being at your worst mentally and physically will ensure your decisions will often be less than ideal. Having low energy will make you short tempered and you will have a hard time connecting with you staff. This will ensure that your building is a place in which your staff is worried, stressed and afraid to make mistakes. In an environment like that, discipline problems are bound to be higher than you would like.
Don’t do what you say
This can be a hard practice to avoid especially if your upper administration are poor communicators. Sometimes your can say one thing then everything changes without notice and you have to go back on your word. This is a key component in destroying your building culture. You can say, “all hands on deck” then stay in your office and let others try to handle the emergencies. Being above the fray will absolutely cause a lack of respect. You can also say you have an open door policy, then make it clear by being on your phone or on your computer that you’re not interested in hearing what your staff has to say.
These 3 worst practices, destroying leadership potential, neglecting your health, and not keeping your word can ruin your building. What other practice of poor leaders do you avoid? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.
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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 bookHow To Be A Great Principal: 36 Shared Leadership Success Strategies. If you’re an auditory learner you can download my podcastThe Principal Entrepreneur, new episodes weekly. To join the podcast as a guest email me firstname.lastname@example.org. Finally, I’m part of a community of supportive principals please join our privateFB 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......