This post answers the 34th question from my TeacherToolkit Thinking page of Thunks.
Thunk 34: The 7 things top leaders do, by @MaryMyatt
To celebrate my 200th blogpost, I am delighted that Mary Myatt has written this aide-memoir for outstanding leadership traits found in education. Mary has worked in hundreds and hundreds of schools; so the 7 pillars of leadership are gathered from countless hours, working with teachers, schools and leaders across the country.
The 7 things top leaders do:
1. Top leaders notice everything. Mostly they notice things about the people they are working with. They read the signs of when people need to be supported, when they need to be spurred on and when they just need to be acknowledged. They realise the significance of small things. They remember to write notes, send emails and seek people out. Mostly to say thank you, show appreciation. And sometimes to hold people to account. They look in surprising places. They know that the impact of what they do, shows in how reception greets people, how the caretaking is done, what the wider community thinks of the school. They never miss an opportunity to celebrate.
2. Top leaders know everyone’s name. Yes everyone’s. Incredibly powerful. They use names to great effect for praise and to hold people to account. They never forget that they are dealing with human beings first. They never label anyone. Ever.
3. Top leaders don’t accept excuses. Particularly for themselves. They know the difference between a reason and an excuse. They will take account of the former and dismiss the latter. Working to the principles of ‘high challenge, low threat’, they know that no-one wants to be made to feel a Muppet!
Do you have Muppet-moments?
4. Top leaders have high levels of energy. This comes from their enthusiasm. They love what they do. Their enthusiasm infects the way they go about their business. It is caught by others they come in contact with. They have a lightness of touch. They laugh often. They don’t take themselves too seriously.
5. Top leaders are no-nonsense. They spot waffle and cut through it. They know what their priorities are. They work with people where they are, not where they would like them to be.
6. Top leaders know every aspect of their school. They don’t run their schools for Ofsted but for their students. When they are inspected, there are no surprises. They could write their own inspection report. They know what needs to be done to get better. And they hold themselves to account before anyone else. They regularly undertake 360 reviews, formal and informal. They know that it is a sign of strength to ask for feedback. They reflect on it and incorporate it.
7. Oh, and they teach … and the top, top leaders do their share of working with the awkward squad.
What do you think top leaders do?
Download the Powerpoint by clicking the image below or 7-Things-Top-Leaders-Do by @MaryMyatt
I would highly recommend working with Mary …