Last time I wrote about how we often over think our roles and that this in turn creates problems that aren’t even there. It was part of a piece about slowing things down, especially at this time of term.
Recently I was part of a discussion regarding the dilemma that we all face – when do we find time to show leadership when we seem to be in constant management mode.
As principals, we are expected to be leaders yet we tend to spend our lives in the day to day grind and minutiae of school existence rather than floating above it, being ultra visionary and seeing the “big picture”.
Perhaps it’s time to get off this hamster wheel of doubt created by over thinking the management vs leadership debate.
Surely they co-exist, not only side by side, but together like osmosis, flowing into one another; at times morphing into pure management while at other times being pure leadership, but more often than not just a colourful mixture of both.
Apparently it was Theodore Roosevelt who said, “people don’t care what you know until they know that you care”. This to me, is one of the real touchstones of what being a principal is all about.
Effectively this means that the people that you get paid to lead, or manage, don’t care about either of these terms. They just care that you care.
When you do enough in your school to show that you care consistently to a diverse group of humans, then that is both great leadership and great management.
There are times when you need to manage. This might feel like you’re knee deep in the veritable crappolla generated by others. But the fact that you’re there, and you’re showing you’ve got something more than a heartbeat, is in itself great leadership.
Equally there are times when you lead. And this might feel like you are able to fly above the same crapolla generated by others. But the fact that you can see what is going on with eyes like a falcon is also in itself great management.
So don’t over complicate it, and definitely don’t worry about it, you’ll be where you need to be, when you need to be, and that is good enough.