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Copyright © 2016 Think Strategic



We all know that schools need to change!

21st Century schools must be driven by teachers, Principals and Heads of School who are passionate about making a positive difference to the lives of Generation Z and Generation Alpha students. Successful School Leaders see the challenges of globalization and technology as opportunities and seek out ways to innovate and change.

How can you be a successful School Leader?

Here are 10 Success Strategies I’ve used and I’m sure they’ll help you to thrive now and in the years ahead.


1. Honesty and Integrity

As a leader you need to know yourself and your values. Find a school that aligns with your values and then model your values and the school’s values to all in your community. Make a personal commitment to be honest with yourself and your team at all times. Be transparent. Nurture honesty and integrity in your faculty and students. If you make a mistake, admit it, take responsibility for it, resolve it and learn from it. Always uphold your word and your promises.


2. Ability to Trust and Empower

Listen to your teachers and students. Learn their talents, interests and passions and then delegate accordingly. Empower them to take responsibility for tasks and projects. Be there to coach them and make sure you praise them for what they achieve.


3. Communication, Collaboration and Connectivity

Openly seek and share information and knowledge. Seek to be understood and to understand others. Connect with the world via blogging and social media. Collaborate with others virtually and face-to-face to ensure the best decisions are made.


4. Positive Energy

Always present a positive, pro-active and caring approach. Make the time to speak with students, teachers and parents. Get to know and value them by developing authentic relationships. Make sure you manage your health, well- being and energy levels.


5. Confidence 

Be confident and approachable. Be visible, ask questions, value what you see and give praise for effective teaching and learning practices. As a leader you will be faced with difficult situations. In these situations, always stay calm and confident to maintain morale and confidence in the school community. Ensure your focus always returns to your strategic goals. The key objective is to keep everyone working and moving ahead.


6. Commitment, Persistence and Resilience

Displaying genuine commitment and dedication is such a motivator to your teachers and students. Make sure you create short term and long term plans based on 21st Century strategic visioning.  Be 100% committed to the achievement of the school improvement goals. Adapt when unforeseen situations occur and then persist till the important goals are achieved. Never give up! Resilience is your best friend.


7. Willingness to Learn, Unlearn and Relearn

Never stop learning! The opportunities and possibilities of the 21st Century are exciting and empowering for you and your school community. Be open to it and adopt a growth mindset. Seth Godin says, “If you’re not doing the things that scare you, you’re not really learning.” Attend workshops and conferences to learn from innovative 21st Century leaders.


8. Entrepreneurship, Creativity and Innovation

The ability to think outside the box is powerful. Creativity and innovation are great ways to manage the disruptions and complexities of the 21st Century. Create a culture of innovation. Devise innovation strategies to unleash the collective genius at your school. Empower students and teachers to be resourceful, flexible, creative, to think like entrepreneurs and develop global partners and resources to succeed in our ever-changing world. Develop the school as an entrepreneurial organisation.


9. Intuition

Learn to trust your instincts. Recent research shows that we can successfully solve problems intuitively.  Listen to the voice within you; it comes from a wise and good place.


10. The ability to inspire and seek out opportunities

Be inspiring! Address teachers, students and parents with speeches about noble educational possibilities, highlighting the school’s vision and mission. Create an enthusiasm and optimism to work together in creating future directions for the school. Constantly look for opportunities and possibilities. Continue this focus all through your tenure.


Want to learn more?

Why not attend Leadership for the 21st Century a 2-day workshop on November 12 & 13 at NIST International School to provide you with the knowledge, tools and strategies to be an awesome 21st Century School Leader?

Register here

Can’t make it? Why not sign up for personalised Leadership Coaching to help you grow and develop your leadership capacity? Contact Maxine for more info.


    Download our "Top 3 Challenges Facing School Leaders today" whitepaper and learn how to overcome them.