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Top 10 Success Tips for 2016

Top 10 Success Tips for 2016

Ok, you’re ready! You want 2016 to be your best year yet!


You want to be a great 21st Century Leader. You’re a trailblazer, you’re confident, but deep down you know you need some sage advice as the standards for school leaders keep getting higher and higher. Not to worry.


I’ve compiled some valuable tips for you based on 20 years leadership experience in schools around the world to make sure you are an awesomely successful 21st Century School Leader.

  1. Think Strategically! Focus on the important, not the urgent. Art Costa, creator of Habits of Mind, taught me to always ask myself “What is the most intelligent thing I can do now?” Jack Canfield, author of The Success Principles, taught me not to complain, criticize or blame and to take 100% responsibility. Always have a proactive plan in place. Develop a professional 90-day action plan, using the school’s Annual Action Plan or the school’s Strategic Plan. Create five weekly mini-goals and focus on them each day. Schedule them into your calendar before you schedule your urgent tasks and give them your top priority until completed. Instead of worrying about what you didn’t get done, take note of the important goals you do achieve. This strategy really boosts your sense of achievement, your mental health, your energy levels and the quality of your sleep!
  2. Focus on your teaching teams, developing talent and innovation. Develop healthy professional relationships with your staff.  Ask questions about their interests, their families and value each person for being a unique individual. Offer praise whenever you see or hear of noteworthy actions or innovations by individuals or teams.   Offer teachers opportunities to showcase their diverse talents, let them trial or pilot something new, empower them to take on new challenges. Remember to lead from the heart. Be there to praise success and offer support if something goes wrong, gently role-modelling that we actually learn the most from our most difficult challenges and failures.
  3. Be a cheerleader for your school. Tell the world of the amazing achievements of your students, your teachers and your community. Inspire, motivate and empower all in your school community to be the best they can be and to be passionate about a greater purpose beyond oneself.
  4. Remember that the bottom line in any school is learning and that every adult in the school community should be focusing on the best strategies to ensure students are learning and cared for every single day.
  5. Adopt a Growth Mindset and focus on developing the character strengths of Optimism, Gratitude, Social intelligence, Curiosity, Self control, Perseverance and Enthusiasm. Make sure all members in your school community also strengthen their Growth Mindset. “A fixed mindset makes people into non-learners,” says Carol Dweck. “A growth mindset gives you a different way to think, feel and act.”
  6. Make the time to read and learn from the experts. Professional Journals and Periodicals are good. I’ve compiled a list of Top 20 Books for 21st Century School Leaders.  Workshops are another great way to learn from experienced leaders. Why not attend Leadership for the 21st Century 2-day workshop in Melbourne or Singapore early in 2016 to get you motivated, inspired and focused for the year ahead.
  7. Understand that it is 2016 and your school should be a 21st Century School catering for Generation Z and Generation Alpha. Take the time to conduct an informal audit of your school. Stroll around the buildings and visit the classrooms. If you note classrooms and practices that were in place when you went to school, then it’s time to think about some innovation and change. Gen Z and Gen Alpha kids are more intelligent, more globally aware and more technologically savvy than any previous generations. They are global change agents! Is your school catering to their learning needs?  Is your school preparing them for their futures? Get a team together and plan some actions, both short and long-term, to create an innovative 21st Century School. You can download the Think Strategic Whitepaper below for more ideas.
  8. Remember that it’s actually not about you! It’s about them. It’s what you can do for your students, teachers and parents. See the world from their perspective, talk to them, ask questions and listen to their answers. If you feel you need someone to talk to for advice or support then organize a mentor or a leadership coach, someone who you can trust and communicate with regularly.
  9. You can’t lead anyone if you can’t lead yourself. Take responsible actions to ensure you are healthy and fit in mind, body and soul. Many people depend on you so build in times for exercise, healthy eating, meditation, rest and adventures. Yes, I used to think this was nonsense; I could burn the candle at both ends. But when I reflect on my most successful leadership times, it was when I had ‘me’ in good shape. So take the time to develop a Personal Plan that works for you.  Make it simple and make sure you set yourself SMART goals. Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t stick to it all the time; aim for a consistent 80- 85% performance rate every week and you will be surprised at your overall leadership success and well-being over the coming year.
  10. Never forget how important your family and friends are to you. Make times in your daily and weekly schedules for those most dear to you. They are the ones who will support you when the chips are down and will love you unconditionally for being you. Remember, on your deathbed these are the people with whom you will wish you had spent more time. Make sure you plan those times now!

Carpe Diem! Yes, seize each day! See the opportunities and possibilities. Grab them! Be creative! Be disruptive! Give it the best you’ve got and you will surprise yourself as you grow into an extraordinary 21st Century Leader.

If you would like more help to improve your leadership skills attend Leadership for the 21st Century workshop in Melbourne or Singapore. Click here for more information

If you would like a leadership coach you can trust contact Maxine


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