Leadership: 3 Quick Self-Assessment Tools for Every Aspiring Principal

William Woods EDU

While a school like William Woods University can provide most of the academic bedrock needed to become a school leader through a program such as our Education Specialist in Administration degree, the real test of whether such a degree is right for you begins with close self-study.

Leading a school community may well be one of the most complicated, challenging and rewarding careers available. What inspires a successful teacher to answer a call to school-wide leadership?

Sure, principals typically earn more — but a salary bump alone will not sustain anyone through the rigors of this work. In the spirit of helping you to decide if the move is right for you, we offer 3 Quick Self-Assessment Tools for Every Aspiring Principal.

What’s your listening style?

Just as no two days or challenges are alike in the life of a principal, the same is true of the ways principals embody the title and responsibility of school leader. How would you describe your still emerging leadership style? More or less flare or stealth? More or less vocal or active listening? Click here for a quick listening style self-inventory that might provide some objective feedback.

What’s your stage presence?

Even when you’re not physically present as a principal, your “presence” may still be felt by staff, students and teachers. Like it or not, people are always reading and responding to your energy as the school’s leader. Aspiring principals can gain more insight into what the Gestalt community would call your character style by many means. One of the more adventurous might be enrolling in voice lessons or an acting class.  This video offers a glimpse into the notion of stage presence from noted British acting coach Patsy Rodenburg:

What’s your leadership level?

Business consultant, Jim Collins writes about 5 different levels of leadership in his 2001 Harvard Business Review article, and later in his popular book, “From Good to Great.”

The concept came about during a study that began in 1996, when Collins began researching what makes a great company. He started by looking at 1,435 companies, and ended up choosing 11 truly great ones. These 11 companies were all headed by what Collins called “Level 5 Leaders.”

Collins found that these leaders work from a deep well of humility, and they don’t seek success for their own glory; rather, success is necessary so that the team and organization can thrive. They share credit for success, and they’re the first to accept blame for mistakes. Collins also says that they’re fearless when it comes to making decisions, especially ones that most other people consider risky. Level 5 Leaders possess qualities found in four other levels of leadership that Collins identified. Click here to look at each of the five levels in more detail.

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