Tuesday, June 26, 2018

It just might be a one shot deal (Frank Zappa)

Photo by Olu Eletu on Unsplash
First impressions are tricky.

It's a one shot deal. 

At Woodford House, thanks to the fact that I wore a suit and was lead through the staff room, my initial visit made it seem like I was a politician looking for babies to kiss.

At Westmount Kaipara, staff report that I came across as 'staunch' when I was introduced by the campus administrators.

I'm not a politician but I do like 'staunch': loyal, faithful, trusty, committed, devoted, dedicated, dependable, reliable, steady, constant, hard-working, vigorous, stable, firm, steadfast.

Yeah, baby!

So, my thoughts have turned to how I might come across at my new campus in September. I'm super aware that leaders design and create an environment.

What environment do I want to create? Easy one to answer!

Apparently my 'relentless positivity' tag has been popularly spread already. One Regional Principal even said it's become my middle name! Cool!

Here's five things I intend to do quickly to embed that idea:

  • No office. That might be a shock to accepted norms in the UK setting. Good. I'm keen to continue my 'no office - hot desk - never in the same place twice' policy. Patent pending.
  • Learn names. Rain or shine I'll continue greeting students and parents/grandparents with a smile and a cheery 'good morning' as they arrive at school in the vans. When they leave at the end of each day it's a great opportunity to check on their day. It's a great time for learning names and getting to know who everybody is.
  • Listen to students. Basically, this is the start of establishing relationships. When I was interviewed the students targeted student voice as their area of greatest concern. So I'll be listening and thinking and working out my next steps.
  • Regularly, drink tea at interval and eat lunch at lunchtime. Leaders who are removed from the laughter and the banter and the fun of a staff room are missing out big time!
  • Embrace positive LEAN meetings and distributed leadership. A tight ten minute review and reflection time run by different staff each day ticks many boxes.

In the fullness of time, at the end of the day, when all is said and done - it's all about relationships and communication.

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