Balancing Act: I wondered how we would support each other
So coming into a new school was a balancing act. I didn’t want to arrogantly come in with my own ideas and presumptions of culture and start making decisions or changes based on these. Sadly, I have seen instances when Head Teachers come into a new school ready to make a difference and make things better, and in their hurry, they, unfortunately, stomp all over good ideas and miss great potential talent because they didn’t stop to listen, stop to understand. But, then as a new Head, I did not want to stand back for too long and miss the opportunity to start having a positive influence on the school and make the small changes and tweaks that would start the long and exciting journey of influencing and strengthening school culture.
I thought a lot about Goleman’s comment that any leader ‘has maximal power to sway everyone’s emotions. If people’s emotions are pushed towards the range of enthusiasm, performance can soar; if people are driven towards rancour and anxiety they will be thrown off.’ (2000)
The more I thought about that the truer it became, so there was my starting point. I knew that leadership comes with much responsibility, but perhaps this was the crux of it. As a leader, new to my school, I needed to be highly sensitive to the outcomes, the emotions, I was aiming to promote in order to best develop the high-performance culture we needed to build upon. I needed more than anything to be positive and enthusiastic and believe in what we could go on to achieve together.
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