At times, being an educational leader can feel like you are walking through a never ending minefield. Parent complaints, bad press reports, angry board members, contract issues, the list is endless. Avoid your natural instinct to win every battle that comes your way. Most battles carry political costs and benefits. Sometimes winning the war means strategically losing some of the battles along the way. As a leader, look at the big picture from the mountaintop to analyze strategy.

The gift of time is one of the greatest gifts you can bestow on a busy professional. One deadly mistake as a leader is to bore your staff to death with meetings; everyone is just as busy as you are.  A main rule, if possible is to provide information that could be delivered in a memo rather than holding court just for the sake of holding a meeting.  So the next time you are in a leadership meeting, look around the room.  If everyone looks as if they have just lost the will to live, consider hosting your next meeting in a memo.

Fear is not a workplace motivator. Many of us have had the sad occasion at one time or another to work for someone who was just plain mean. So mean that they took out all their insecurities and anger on their employees. If things went wrong for them watch out. If you are a leader with anger issues, get them under control by seeking to determine their root causes. Work to understand the importance of anger management in the workplace and learn to express all your emotions appropriately.

People who work in the field of educational administration are very well connected. The pipeline is fluid especially in the state of California. If you badmouth a current employer or coworker, that information travels fast and may hurt your reputation or limit any chances for promotion. It’s a small world and it’s important to maintain your professionalism and not put your career in jeopardy.  

We all know networking on social media can be a great way to make connections. It’s easy, quick and appears on the surface to provide more opportunity to cast a wide net for professional connections.  Networking in person, however can be an extremely effective strategy to establish a positive brand for yourself.  Face-to-face networking can be challenging if you’re used to only networking through social media.  Here's some quick tips to help when networking in person:

  • Develop a 20-30 second Elevator Speech 

  • Remember the person’s name when you meet someone  

  • Offer to help in some way

  • Give positive feedback to make the networking experience a positive one

  • Follow up with any promises you make duri...

FIRST STEPS: WHO ARE YOU?
One of the first steps to take when developing your brand is to spend time reflecting upon who you are.  What are your core values and what do you stand for? Sounds simple doesn’t it?  Think of 3-4 words that describe who you are.  Are you trustworthy? Do you value honesty above all else?  Are you collaborative, creative or innovative and do you expect that from others?  Is working on a team important to you?  Do you have a good sense of humor?  Spend some time to define who you are and what you stand for?   When you identify your core values you control what you want your brand to say about you.  If you’re really serious about determining your core values, Google co...

As a leader, by openly sharing your philosophy that you respect the cultural and individual differences of all people, you set the tone for your organization. “Put your money where your mouth is” by providing leadership to review and monitor policies and programs that reflect issues of growing diversity. Follow through with your beliefs.

We live in a time when new information and knowledge is being exponentially created every second of every day. As a leader staying at the top of the game requires one to stay current and sends a strong message to stakeholders that we value learning and expect it from those in the organization. However, it is important that we get off the computer and actually spend time engaging with people. Some of the best learning comes from asking questions and listening. Take some time to get up from your desk, step away from the computer, and get out there and experience and learn.

Good leaders make decisions that can have an influence on someone’s compensation, opportunity, and success. Keeping the lines clear between boss and employee prevents the perception that decisions are based on some kind of emotional bias and can circumvent conditions where lifelong enemies are created.

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