Leadership Lessons

Being a leader isn’t easy. There is no playbook. Everything is contextual. You have to figure out on your own what you need to do. You have to find ways to adapt, overcome and be innovative – but the foundation of everything is culture. Work on culture first and everything else starts falling into place.

To be a leader is to be always learning. These are the lessons I have learnt:

1) Work relentlessly on culture.
2) Schools are never exactly how you want them to be.
3) Relationships are important.
4) Don’t talk. Listen.
5) You are never going to have all the resources you think you need.
6) No amount of professional development is ever going to help anyone.
7) Evangelize learning by doing.
8) Communicate your thinking. Even if you think you are being repetitive.
9) People are always going to criticize – no matter what you do – so do what you think is right and stay true to your vision.
10) You will make mistakes. Get used to it. Own up to them, acknowledge them and then move on.
11) Get feedback. But ultimately you decide how much weight to give it and what to do with it.
12) If you don’t feel uncomfortable you are probably playing it safe.

What else would you add?


  1. I’d have to say there Adrian that I’ve certainly learnt quite a few of those, if not all myself over time. To add to the list you’ve compiled I would personally add, based on my own experiences, the following few;

    – The understanding that I as a leader have on E.I. (Emotional Intelligence) on self and others is highly important.
    – That finding the right balance between being a sledge hammer VS. pussyfooting around an issue can be integral to getting things done in the now, and in the future.
    – Educational leadership is about people, not process.
    – That having ‘evidence’ in all forms to support the work is vital.



  2. Hi Adrian,

    One of the lessons I’ve learnt as a leader is that you can’t be too pushy or force yourself/your ideas on to others. One of my favourite lines to use is, “something that worked for me is…”
    Giving small, practical ideas that can be implemented in classrooms immediately will usually work when trying to get others to try something new.

    Also, another important point, never stop sharing! You never know who is listening 🙂

    Hope you are enjoying your Summer break.

    Katelyn 🙂


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