Qualities of an effective school leader

It seems my current fascination is with the qualities of an effective school leader. I really like the list below, which comes from Kim Marshall’s excellent summary of “Touching Eternity” by Adam Rohdie in Independent School, Winter 2016 (Vol. 75, #2, p. 12, 14).

  • A passion for education, a respect for and love of teachers, and a delight in students;
  • An eye for potential in others – being able to spot a diamond in the rough;
  • The ability to stay cool under pressure;
  • The confidence to say, “I don’t know the answer to the problem that you raise; I’ll have to think about it.”
  • Willingness to share the credit, but to shoulder the blame;
  • The ability to motivate and build a team;
  • The ability to inspire trust;
  • Genuine delight in the success of the people who work with you;
  • The discernment to know when to let someone go and when to give that person a second chance;
  • The willingness to be thin-skinned at times in order to sense the pulse of the school; the strength to be thick-skinned at times in order not to overreact to criticism;
  • Solid judgment based on experience, thoughtfulness, personal integrity, courage, and compassion;
  • Engagement in life and all of its complexities, frustrations, and joys;
  • The ability to take the long-term view, to distinguish what is important from what is merely urgent;
  • Discretion, balance, and perspective.

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