8 suggestions for leading a successful school team

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on 5 December, 2018

You’ve probably heard of the saying: ‘If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far go together.’

Leading a positive school team that works together harmoniously and productively, where members support each other but also feel empowered to take the initiative and make their own decisions, is no mean feat.

So, what does it take to be a great school leader? How can you steer your team to greatness? Here are 8 suggestions:

Top view of people joining hands together as a symbol of partnership-1

1. Give them freedom

Control leads to compliance, but autonomy leads to engagement and subsequently, success. The best leaders step aside and allow the people on their team to use their talents to their best ability.


2. Guide them towards a common goal 

It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you work together. Providing your team with a compelling vision ensures that they don’t go off pulling in a million different directions, but work together as a group moving forwards. “Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organisational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.”  - Andrew Carnegie


3. Allow them to make mistakes 

Famous author J.K Rowling once said: “It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all - in which case, you fail by default.” Teach the people on your team that mistakes are part of the process, they are something to learn from and make better.


4. Give them opportunities to learn and grow 

Like the best leaders, the best teams are always aiming to be better. Build lots of opportunities for your team to develop their skills and practice. The more they learn the more confident and happier they’ll be. Read more about what you need to consider for effective CPD here >


5. Admit that you don’t have all the answers 

Show your team that great leadership doesn’t mean having all the answers by demonstrating the benefits of collaborative problem solving. "It is the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) that those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed." - Charles Darwin


6. Actively manage through adaptive change

All schools experience change and great leaders know when it's time for change. This can be a scary thing for the team and often things get worse before they get better. For advice on how to manage change in your school download this free practical guide


7. Be available

Part of being a leader involves being there for your team. If they have a question or need advice, make sure it's easy for them to ask you.


8. Praise and appreciate them

If you let your team know that you think what they’re doing is valuable and worthwhile, and that you can see their success growing, then they’ll keep going. “You need to be aware of what others are doing, applaud their efforts, acknowledge their successes, and encourage them in their pursuits. When we all help one another, everybody wins.” - Jim Stovall

Are you the educational leader you want to be? For resources and advice from experts on how to be a better leader, download this free practical guide >

Topics: Leadership

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