Leadership is a broad concept, and educational leadership has recently received a lot of attention as scholars and governments have come to terms with the fact that educational leaders such as school principals and supervisors play a vital role in running the educational institutes, hiring and training the teachers, and ultimately ensuring the proper delivery of quality education. That said, options such as a school leadership development program or a post graduate diploma program in education management have been designed to help teachers and administrators hone their educational leadership and management abilities. These courses tend to explore some of the essential factors that lead to successful leadership.
It is worth noting that leadership is an exhaustive role that includes a multitude of tasks, responsibilities, and visions. While the outcomes of solid leadership are numerous, getting it right in the first place is also very essential. Let us take a look at some of the key success factors of educational leadership, or in other words, some of the key factors of being a good leader.
- Set the right example: In order to become a successful leader, you need to participate in activities that you would want for your followers to do. For example, if you want the teachers and other staff to be on time, then you need to manage your time and always be punctual. This will help set an example. If the leader is always later, then the other staff will think that flexible time management is the norm, and they will hence never take punctuality seriously. As it happens, this will end up hurting the school’s culture and efficiency over time.
- Constant self-development: Just becoming the leader is not the end goal. That is not where the road ends. In fact, that is where the path begins. In order to retain the leadership position, one needs to constantly acquire new knowledge, read, learn from other leaders, develop new skills, and constantly enhance their existing abilities. Importantly, programs such as a post graduate diploma in education management can be one such way for escalating one’s leadership skills. Continuously developing oneself will also encourage the followers to look up to the leader as they can always expect new insights and ideas coming out from their leader.
- Stable decision making: Leaders who tend to be focussed and stable are likely to be more favourable. This is because they have the ability to consider the costs and benefits of different alternatives and then take the right decisions in a timely manner. Being able to do so will give the staff a sense of direction and assurance as they can always be confident that their leader will take the right decision that works for everyone. This is specifically important in schools wherein decisions surrounding young children has to be made. In addition to taking the right decisions, being able to take the right calls in situations of emergency is highly important as not doing so has the potential to wreak havoc.
- Positivity: No matter how grave a particular situation is; successful leaders always tend to carry a positive attitude. If the leader gets disturbed and demotivated, then the lack of positive energy will keep the other staff from contributing their fullest efforts. They will also start panicking, and things may go out of hand. Therefore, positivity can motivate the staff and teachers that everything is going to be fine. This optimistic outlook can in turn convince them to look at something to work for.
- Know the staff well: Successful leaders know their staff well. They know their names, their work style, their strengths, their weaknesses, and many other things. Investing time to find out about the staff members creates numerous benefits. Firstly, the members feel valued as they see that the leader is interested in spending time with them and getting to know about them. This will inevitably motivate them to work harder and perform better. Likewise, by knowing the staff well, the leader will know when and how to help them. They will be aware of their strengths and thus delegate responsibilities accordingly, which in turn will benefit the institute.
These are some of the key success factors of education leadership. However, these are not the only ones. There are plenty of factors that depends on the institute, the staff, and the leader. Nevertheless, these are some of the common success factors that can be found in a school leadership development program, but in greater depth.