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State of Disaster or State of Opportunity?

State of Disaster or State of Opportunity?

Our world has changed incredibly over the past six months and many school leaders are struggling with exhaustion, frustration and loss of direction.


In Melbourne, Australia we have hit our Second Wave of the coronavirus pandemic and a ‘State or Disaster’ has been declared until 13 September. All schools have reintroduced remote and online learning and most students are being home schooled.


This is such a challenging time to lead schools. Adopting a ‘State of Opportunity’ Mindset is crucial.


How can you adopt a State of Opportunity Mindset?


Embracing the unknown as a space in which you and your team will grow, innovate and thrive is a necessity. Adopting an opportunity mindset and seeing possibilities is invaluable in these times. Remember, everything you are doing is role modelling to our young generations how to deal with disruption and change. They will encounter more situations of disruption and change during their lives. Organisations that adopt this mindset will survive. Many of those who do not embrace opportunity and possibility will become extinct. This is such a powerful learning opportunity for teachers and students.


Ask, “What have we learned?” In the face of adversity it is always important to ask the question. “What have I learned during this situation?” Now is a good time to reflect on how you and your team adapted to the First Wave of Covid-19 and what worked well and what didn’t. Obviously it’s important to focus on what went well. Be strategic. Collaborate with your team and brain dump what worked and what didn’t. Now is the time to develop those successful strategies and actions to improve your school. Remember those who want to go back to the way it was don’t like change and uncertainty. We are now facing the NEW NORMAL. Prepare your team to accept, adapt and thrive in these new times.


Developing awesome, not toxic, teams based on a culture of trust and confidence has never been more important. Reflect on how your team members performed during the First Wave of the pandemic. Who were the innovators? Who were the change agents? Who were the transformers? Who were agile and shared their strategies with others? Acknowledge these talents in your teachers and utilize them. Trust and delegate responsibility. Pilot new projects.


Learn about change management and how to lead people. To make any transformation successful, you must change more than just the structure and operations of an organization, you must change people’s behavior. I’ve been using John Kotter’s revised 8 Steps of Change very successfully.


Be Supportive especially in your virtual team meetings. People need connection and support to best manage their wellbeing and mental health. Creating rituals during engaged and supportive virtual team meetings is paramount. Make sure you have weekly check ins, share tips and advice, heart and mind concerns and always finish with a story for why you all do what you do.


Remember that you are 100% responsible for everything that happens in your school. Don’t use ‘blame’ in any situation, instead ask yourself  “What is my responsibility with this problem and what strategic thinking or strategic actions can I take to improve the situation?”


Surround yourself with “can-do” people. Do not be afraid to empower people more intelligent than you or with a different personality, thinking or learning style to you. Different thinkers often see issues/solutions from different perspectives, which can be very helpful when solving problems effectively.


Actually, I have created a new Masterclass Webinar: LEADERSHIP FOR THE NEW NORMAL that offers you an amazing toolkit of leadership behaviours, strategies and tools. You can find out more about it here. 



Outstanding presenter. The webinar had an amazing impact on our leadership team. The energy, knowledge, passion and belief of the presenter was infectious. We felt inspired and empowered to create change at our school. Loads of tools and strategies to help me grow as a leader. An excellent workshop!

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