Flickr Photo: Press Factory Juggling Group by chamsin
As leaders, we often hear from our staff that we have “too many balls in the air” and we are just “adding one more thing to our plates”. We need to listen to this feedback and recognize that we may have too many school goals or these goals might not align with what we really want to accomplish in regards to student learning. When too many goals are in front of us or when goals do not align then staff will get overwhelmed and, as a result, feel like they do not do anything well or only skim the surface.
Part of being a leader is making strong connections and alignment between school goals and what staff is actively doing to move towards reaching those goals. In the book The Leader in Me, Covey adds a visual on page 179 that resonated with me. It is a picture of arrows pointing to stakeholder needs (student learning) and inside the arrows are things/actions that a school is doing such as mission, vision, strategies, etc. Some arrows are pointing all in the same direction… some are not.
As a leader in your school, ask yourself:
If the things we do as a school are put into each arrow, would all of the arrows point towards improving student learning?
Do I, as a leader, develop and facilitate meaning processes to align school goals and actions?
Do some arrows need to be taken way because they do not align?
Are some arrows actually barriers that hinder student learning for the 21st century?
If our arrows do align, what can I do as a leader to help make connections for my staff?