In response to the comments and commentary dealing with, “Brown’s Wisdom,” a reader writes:
“I completely agree that there are different types of principals. The reality of this is that no matter what type of principal you work with, a team makes the difference. True leaders grow leaders. The principal may be the nucleus, but a team of strong administrators can guide and lead teachers to lead in their classrooms.”
What I feel sometimes gets lost in this forum, but what I always emphasize when I present, is that yes, the principal is the big picture catalyst for positive movement and change. But, leadership at every level has to step up and move their teams to aggressively meet student needs.
The tenured teacher who is respected by the staff has a responsibility to use his/her influence to keep teachers focused on improving the craft. The department chair has the responsibility to actually lead the department. The assistant principal has to keep her team focused on providing quality service and instruction. In the long run, campus leadership is a team sport.
Can a principal do it alone? In the short run, yes. But, for a campus to operate at a consistently high level, over time, leadership must be multi-layered, mission oriented, and willing to engage. If as the principal, I am not working everyday to build that level of embedded leadership capacity, my efforts will not survive my departure. And, I have to ask myself, “Am I actually leading?”
If as a support leader, I am not focused on moving my team forward, supporting the mission of the organization, and making the tough decisions that are within my pay grade, I am a liability to the organization. And, I have to ask myself, “Is this really what I want to do?”
Think. Work. Achieve.