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Top tips for new leaders - clarity

How clear is your vision? How clear are your goals? How clear are others in your team?

For many new leaders starting a role in a new school, creating, sharing and implementing a vision and ethos is an INSET day activity. But how do we do this?

Making it memorable, aspirational and collaborative are all necessary. Everyone in school should be able to relay this – it will be the backbone of everything that the school does. If you’re not clear about the school’s vision then how will staff or pupils know?

And the school’s aims or goals? If everyone’s involved in setting these, then a) there is no excuse for not working towards these and b) everyone has ownership and feels valued.

But whatever you do as a leader, be clear about everything:

· Expectations

· Standards

· Ways of working

· Job roles

Everyone likes to know what’s expected of them. In my experience of coaching school leaders at senior level eg. deputy and assistant head teachers, one of the things that they bring to the conversation is their feeling of a lack of clarity around expectations of them in their role. Of course this is a two way thing but as a head teacher you need to communicate this clearly to your team in order to get the best out of them.

Ask yourself:

  • How clear am I, to staff, parents and pupils?

  • How clear are the school’s vision, goals and aims?

  • What’s working well already? How can I build on this?

  • How could I improve clarity around roles, responsibilities, standards, expectations etc.?

Teams perform better when they have clarity around their roles. They are more successful if they share the same vision and move towards the same goals. They are more contented if they know and understand expectations.

Clarity is key to establishing, building and maintaining trust and good working practices within your team.

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