As a Principal you are plopped down into a building tasked with one of two scenarios: maintain the status quo or upset that status quo. In order to accomplish your own goals within one of those two frameworks you must be able to influence your staff.
From the very beginning of your tenure you must interweave at least three types of power to set your agenda.
As a principal you have an easy entry point to your central administration. From this position you can begin to network and create connections. It’s through leveraging these relationships that you will be able to ask for the things that you need to run your building. Just like in business, your network is your net worth. In education, net worth equates to resources as simple as textbooks to grant funding for the Robotics’ Club. The power of entry is what gives you a means to gain what you need to support your agenda.
Like a news anchor is the face of a local channel, the principal is the face of the school. With that visibility comes a platform with which you can tout your school’s successes. You are the person that comes to mind when a parent or community member thinks of your school. From your position as principal you have the power and the responsibility to do what is best for all the children and how you present that vision to all stakeholders is important. Through visibility you have the power to influence the image of your school.
This is perhaps the greatest power a principal has. As an evaluator it’s your job to impact good teaching. It’s also the position in which you can save the most children. By evaluating a poor teacher out, you have the power to positively impact a generation of children. Not surprisingly this is the power that is the most difficult to wield. Even today with teachers no longer having tenure the hoops and the paperwork that must be done to remove a poor teacher is difficult to manage. As a principal it’s necessary. The evaluative process is the superpower of the principal and you can use it to shape your staff.
These three powers: entry, visibility and evaluation can help you shape support and promote your school vision.
What other powers do you have to positively impact your school culture? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.
For more tips and tricks check out my blog or my podcast at theprincipalentrepreneur.com.
Feature image courtesy of Flickr, JD Hancock.