Friday, 28 April 2017

Jim Collins - Good To Great

Here is an article from Jim Collins - author of the bestseller Good To Great.

What was our favourite tip...


The presence of an ever expanding to do list without a robust stop doing list is a lack of discipline. To focus on priorities means clearing away the clutter. Sometimes the best way to deal with a platter piled high with problems is to simply toss the entire pile into the trash, wash the platter, and start anew. Above all, we must not starve our biggest opportunities because we're so busy throwing ourselves at our biggest problems and dwelling on past mistakes. 

Pivot from past to future, create forward, always ask, "What's next?" Yet how to do this, when past problems clamor for our attention, when we live with the accumulated legacy of what came before? Drucker gives an answer in the form of a question, one of the most impactful in his arsenal: If it were a decision today to start something you are already in (to enter a business, to hire a person, to institute a policy, to launch a project, etc.), would you? If not, then why do you persist?

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Top Traits To Avoid!

What are some of the traits that leaders need to avoid?
How self aware are you as a leader... can you self check whether you have ever demonstrated any of these behaviours?

Top traits to avoid....

1. Lack Of Flexibility
Good leadership takes a lot of mental and emotional gymnastics. And just as Olympic gymnasts rarely struggle with a basic back bend, the best leaders don’t hesitate to change direction, implement Plan B, or adjust pace when an initiative doesn’t go as planned. Lack of flexibility can take many forms: anything from a “my way or the highway” attitude to rigid adherence to timelines, to stubborn rejection of new ideas or processes. Any of these habits make it hard for a team to connect and cooperate. And when a leader is unwilling to compromise, it’s much harder to get things done.

Tip: Do some soul-searching or ask a close friend or peer how you could be more flexible at work. Then, set a concrete goal to strive for, like “I will be prepared with a backup plan in case the inevitable happens with our next big project.”

2. Disconnected From The Team
When the cat’s away, the mice will play—or so the saying goes. But an absentee manager won’t make for a happy team. Instead, employees whose bosses are too busy to check in, miss one-on-ones, or have an unspoken closed-door policy are often disappointed and frustrated. Not only does disconnecting from the team communicate that a leader couldn’t care less about goals, initiatives, and the individuals working hard every day, but it also kills the invaluable opportunity to understand teammates on a personal level.

Tip: You might not know that you’re becoming disconnected, but if you’ve been missing meetings or traveling a lot lately, make it a priority to reconnect. The personal attention will pay dividends in satisfaction and teamwork.

3. Micromanaging

It’s clearly poor leadership to be disconnected from the team, but strangling all autonomy is equally as bad. Micromanaging nearly always shows up on bad leadership habits lists for good reason. Excessive management strains team bonds, discourages innovation, and negatively affects work output. It also communicates that the boss doesn’t believe his team has what it takes to get the job done.

Tip: Get better at delegating. Every individual is part of your team for a reason. By utilizing their unique talents and trusting them to bring their all, you’ll be empowering their great work instead of communicating a lack of trust.

4. Taking All The Credit And Doling Out The Blame
Here’s something that drives people mad: when their manager takes a great idea and claims it as their own. The other side of the coin also stings: when a deadline passes unheeded or a project struggles to get off the ground, and the manager starts pointing fingers as to who’s to blame. Either way, the manager is not taking responsibility for his own actions and their consequences. And this strongly discourages the team from innovating, taking risks, or continuously improving.

Tip: Don’t take credit for someone’s creativity or results. Instead, recognize them to emphasize the great work they’ve done and its importance. And when the going gets rough, take one for the team. You’re there to lead, not to cower—and your behavior when the going gets rough sets the tone for interactions and motivations ahead.

5. Inconsistency
Surprised to see this quality rounding out the list? Recent research has pinpointed inconsistency—not playing favorites, or leading with fear, or name-calling (though those are all to be avoided as well)—as the worst trait of bad leaders. Inconsistency, like when a leader is fair to one group on his team, but singles out others, or reacts unpredictably, or is extremely prone to mood swings, puts everyone on edge. Not knowing what to expect whenever the boss is around drains the energy, patience, and creativity from a team. As a leader, you set the tone. Make sure your team knows where you stand.

Tip: It’s an oldie but a goodie: take a deep breath before you react to a situation. Assess your reactions, and strive to not take out unrelated frustrations at work. Above all, make sure you’re being fair to everyone on the team. After all, no one likes a leader who plays favourites.

Teaching Schools

Teaching Schools

Launched in 2011, there are over 600 teaching schools across the country. Their role is to work with others to provide high-quality training and support for school improvement in their local area.

Teaching schools lead in 6 areas:

  • delivering school-led initial teacher training (ITT), including School Direct
  • providing tailored CPD to staff 
  • supporting other schools to bring about improvement
  • identifying and developing future leaders
  • recruiting and managing specialist leaders of education
  • building on existing research and sharing new research and development

Teaching School Alliances

Teaching school alliances are led by a teaching school and include schools that are benefiting from support, as well as strategic partners who lead some aspects of training and development. Strategic partners may include:
  • other schools from any phase or sector
  • universities
  • academy chains
  • local authorities
  • dioceses
  • private sector organisations

 Alliances may be cross phase and cross sector, work across local authorities and may include different types of organisations.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Good Leadership Practice - Top Tips

Have you seen this article from the National College on top leadership tips? 
How many of them have you applied in your current setting?
Would any of these be a target to work on this half term?
Do you currently have any colleagues in your team who would benefit from reading these?

Do …
  • Come across positively to others. It’s worth taking the time to self-reflect – would you consider yourself to be credible if you had to work with you?
  • Present yourself well. That means dressing appropriately, being positive and polite when you deal with people, and using language that doesn’t offend anyone. It also applies to your written work – bad spelling, grammar and punctuation send out the wrong signals.
  • Lead by example. Make sure others know they can rely on you. Be responsible for your own actions and accept accountability if things don’t go according to plan.
  • Be a decision-maker. If you’re in charge of something, think things through properly, evaluate your criteria and make objective choices.
  • Exercise objectivity. No one will thank you for a decision you’ve made just because you’ve felt like it. Do what’s right for the activity you’re working on and the people you’re working with.
  • Take stock. Don’t rush into absolutely everything. Often we work to tight deadlines, but make sure you step back and look at the overall picture on occasion. Use this time to reflect on your objectives and make sure you’re on target.
  • Delegate wisely and give people their own opportunities to develop. A professional person doesn’t feel they need to do everything themselves. They appreciate the benefits others bring and recognise they’re not always the best person for the job.
  • Communicate. People need to know what is going on – be it the colleagues you’re working with, the staff you manage, or your own bosses who want to know progress is being made. Pick up the phone and talk to them, arrange meetings, send emails – communicate and keep them informed.
  • Plan and organise. Work out what you need to do, and how you’re going to do it. Manage your resources properly and think about contingency plans.
  • Attend to the little details. Sometimes it’s the things we overlook rather than deal with that cause problems. Don’t be caught out by missing something obvious. 
Look out for the next set of tips from the National College on what NOT to do!

Which of these 'DOs' would you think is most important?
Are there key ones missing that you think should be included?