According to Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons, your under-performing staff are just like a flat tyre on a car.
Sometimes the flat tyre just needs to be pumped up as it has lost pressure.
Sometimes a more significant repair is needed to get back on the road and
Sometimes a replacement is needed as the existing tyre can’t be fixed.
Commissioner Fitzsimmons is well-known for the calm, decisive and yet compassionate way that he led NSW through the bushfire emergency of 2020.
I recently had the pleasure of presenting at the same leadership conference and was impressed with the Commissioner’s perspective of leadership. He extended the analogy of a flat tyre needing different levels of intervention with the observation that the impact of one flat tyre on an 18 wheel semi-trailer is different to the impact of a flat tyre on a unicycle. I am sure that resonates with leaders of schools of different sizes.
The Commissioner’s closing comment was that leadership is about building Trust and Confidence. I couldn’t agree more about the role of the Principal. The two key actions were leaders who CARED and leaders who were PRESENT. These actions were evident in the compassion that he showed with the families of firefighters who had lost their lives and in driving over 58000 km to attend volunteer firefighter events.
Actions clearly speak louder than words.
Do the people you lead, know that you care about them?
How connected are you with their reality?
When was the last time you spent time in classrooms, with staff in the playground, in the staffroom and staff social events?
The overload of compliance and administrivia can lead to leaders being locked away in their offices or at bureaucratic meetings. This adds to their stress levels. If you are feeling this, schedule some time to get back to grass roots and spend some time each day with students and staff.