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Sniper Don’t Shotgun

WARNING This is probably NOT politically correct but it is still good advice.
Last week I really enjoyed presenting a keynote at the Qld Secondary Principals’ Association state conference at the Hilton Hotel in Brisbane. The set up was awesome!

At the conference Principal Lou Oberholzer provided some feedback that one of the videos in our School Leadership Sprints series had really resonated with his leadership team. The video highlighted the importance of ‘snipering’ the one individual who hadn’t delivered rather than ‘shotgunning’ (or spraying) your whole staff.

Whilst it isn’t a politically correct term, the guidance is good.

When an individual fails to meet expectations, leaders should talk one on one with that individual. Too often leaders ‘remind ALL staff’ about expectations even when it is just ONE individual who hasn’t met expectations.

For example, when 2 or 3 teachers don’t submit their reports on time, leaders often raise the issue with all of the staff at a subsequent staff meeting. This has a negative impact as the leaders look like they are cranky with the world, good teachers worry that they have made a mistake and double check that it wasn’t them and the culprits probably missed the staff meeting anyway.

Lou and his leaders have taken on board the value of snipering an individual rather than spraying everyone.

PS I’d love to hear if you have a more politically correct version.