was making decisions and building a program that would I mpact the success of the high school band. I was working closely with band parents to assist me with the management of the program. Making those types of decisions is a part of leadership. Helping students and parents taught me a lot about leadership. After serving as an assistant principal for five years, I realize that in order to successfully help students, parents, and teachers, I need to be passionate and persistent. I must seek out partners and develop protégés. To me, to be a successful school leader, a school leader must possess passion, persistence, partners, and protégés.
In a school setting, I believe that a leader must be passionate about their position. I have a compelling enthusiasm to help teachers improve their craft, to encourage students to always maximize their potential, and to communicate with stakeholders about the school’s vision. I am passionate about my professional development as a leader. I am always reading, listening, and sharing ways to improve my craft, maximize my strengths, and model the school’s mission.
On my desk I have a rock with the statement, “Persistence prevails when all else fails.” Persistence is another good quality to possess in leadership. Successful leaders are those individuals who remain committed to the task at hand. Success is a process. Along the way, there will be times of victories and times of strife. It is important to celebrate and acknowledge the successful “baby steps” along the way. Especially when times get rough, people in the work force want to follow a leader who is persistent, who, with integrity, makes necessary adjustments along the way, and finishes the job.
Successful schools rarely thrive as a result of an individual handling the decisions and affairs of the school. Leadership must be a team effort. Building effective partnerships with other school personnel is an important piece to maintaining and sustaining successful schools. I am a strong supporter of building your think tank. These partners bring strengths to the table in making and carrying out the decisions. A successful leader knows the importance of an inner circle. The inner circle consists of other colleagues. Their partnership will challenge, push, and encourage each other to grow professional and personally.
One day, you will leave your school. What will be your legacy? Who will carry the torch? How will you know that the school's success will continue? You have to develop protégés. These are the individuals that will continue with the school's mission and vision. Developing protégés will take time, training, and practice. The saying goes that "Rome wasn't built in a day." Your understudies must buy in with the mission and vision. They must believe and profess that they know what (vision) it takes to be a successful school, and they must be able to tell you how (mission) to get there. If they can lead the way, as a school leader, you must give them opportunities, practice time if you will, to experiences the highs and lows of making decisions. To grow as a leader, you have to learn from the good AND the bad decisions. As the saying goes "practice makes perfect." Well, we will never get it right, but we can learn from the experiences so that next time, our efforts have a better return or outcome.
Someone once said that if you think you are in front leading others but no one is following, you are just taking a walk. Successful leaders realize the importance of followers. But even more so, successful leaders know that building leaders from within and growing leadership capacity is an integral part to sustainability. I believe school leaders need to seek out potential leaders in the school system, maximize their potential, and support them along the process. Since leadership is influence, I believe a school leader needs to be passionate and persistent. People will follow a school leader who possesses passion and persistence. Finally, to maintain and sustain the school's vision, a leader needs to build partnerships and grow protégés.