On this week’s episode, we tackle listener queries about leadership and resource allocation. Jen Schwanke shares an enlightening conversation with a principal from a small, rural school in Iowa about how best to utilize allocated funding for a new staff position.
Biggest Time Usage and Strengths:
Jen discusses the principal’s most significant time usage and strengths, and his decision to hire an instructional coach to handle the academics while he manages sports and music.
Proactive vs. Reactive Hiring:
Jen challenges this approach, suggesting hiring a leader for Operations of Extracurriculars, thereby allowing the principal to focus on instruction.
The Power of Intent:
Jen emphasizes the importance of knowing your “why.” She advises hiring someone to handle what is already a community focus, ensuring the principal’s energy is directed towards the academic growth of students.
Advice for One-Man Teams:
If hiring additional staff is not possible, Jen’s advice remains the same – empower those in your team to step up to leadership roles. It’s about evaluating if they are deflecting problems your way due to your control issues or if they believe you can make them disappear.
The Overwhelm Dilemma:
Jen refers to Anne Lamott’s words, “Helping is the sunny side of control,” and urges leaders to reflect on their tendency to control. Additionally, if exhaustion sets in, it’s vital to investigate the root cause, as suggested by Brene Brown.
Top Systems for School Administrators:
Answering another listener question, Will and Jen list three key areas to focus on for increasing productivity – Self, Staff, and Community. They discuss identifying the key responsibility areas (KRAs) that align with your strengths, gifts, and passion.
Practical Examples of KRAs:
Will shares an extensive list of KRAs from a principal friend, Russell Tillery of Sallisaw High School. These responsibilities cover various roles within the school, such as Office Staff, Principal, and more, providing a comprehensive guide for other leaders to develop their own KRAs. You can email email@example.com for a complete list of KRA’s.
Conclusion – Embrace Teamwork:
As you consider how to allocate resources and support in your school community, remember the power of teamwork. The aim is not only to be action-oriented but also to be dedicated to realizing the potential in others. When principals discover and amplify the strengths in their staff, schools thrive.
Listen to this episode for a deep dive into these topics and more!