Monday, 29 January 2018

What to do first?

As a leader, the volume of tasks to complete can seem overwhelming. In any one day there can be a succession of decisions to be made on trivial matters up to those which could have real long lasting impact. Making sure that you give each one the appropriate time is quite a challenge, especially when you can feel under pressure to 'always have the answer'.

The diagram below helps to give a very simple framework with which you can review actions and tasks. It is also worth considering some mantras that can help to avoid being swamped:

  • Take your time to really listen to the question and think about your response. Is it something that has to be answered today? Is it you that should be doing the answering? Should you be taking advice? Do you even know the answer?
  • Don't be afraid to say you don't know. No one knows everything. Admitting that you need time to research the issue/question and that you'll get back to the person when you have an informed response isn't weakness.
  • Are too many questions coming to you? Are there systems in place to ensure that class teachers, Middle Leaders and other SLT are clear on their responsibilities?
  • Don't be afraid to stop doing something good so that you can do something great. Often it is hard to let go of something that is working for fear that a new approach won't work out... but if you don't try you'll never know. If we lived our life on that basis we'd still be riding horses to work.

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