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Top tips for new leaders - courage

Grasping an opportunity, taking risks, trusting your instinct, being the odd one out, doing things differently takes COURAGE.

When I was in post as a head teacher there were many opportunities that presented themselves – some opportunities I took and some I didn’t when I first started out due to lack of faith in my own abilities.

Later on in my career, my mantra was: if you don’t take the opportunity then someone else will and this helped me to become more courageous at accepting things.

More recently, during those times when I have had a ‘wobble’ while building my coaching business I have asked myself, ‘what’s the worst that can happen?’ (Thank you to Lisa @lisadawncoaching)

I always encouraged my team to take risks when in post as a head teacher.

Sometimes a staff member would come to me with a plan to improve or change something within their area of responsibility and they would talk to me about being unsure of how successful it would be. My advice would always be ‘go for it’ see what happens and if it doesn’t work then try another way.

The old saying is also true – we learn more from our mistakes than our successes.

Mistakes make us want to work better next time. It can help us to think more widely around a subject, try out new ways of working and experiment more.

As a new school leader it can be scary at first doing things differently from everyone else. But, you will know what works and what doesn’t work in your school and this can be vastly different from the school down the road.

You will learn to follow your instincts and intuition and you will know when something feels right or not.

And, if you base any action or decision around your core values then it makes it easier to make that decision or take that step.

I think that developing courage is important in leading successfully, not in an arrogant ‘I’m always right’ way but just trusting yourself and being confident in your own abilities. This in turn encourages others to take risks and become courageous!

Ask yourself:

· How courageous a leader am I?

· How can I encourage risk taking in my team?

· What am I risking by not being brave/taking that step/accepting that opportunity?

Establish your leadership presence, be confident in your abilities, don’t be averse to risk taking, do things differently and grasp every opportunity that comes your way!

So, to quote Tony Robbins: ‘Stop being afraid of what can go wrong, and start being excited about what could go right’.

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