Four Characteristics of Great Leaders and Principals

Great leaders create new leaders. Weak leaders dismiss hope.

Those in leadership must encourage their employees to achieve greatness and not dismiss their goals nor extinguish their passion. When leaders instruct or even demand an employee to dream less they stifle creativity and control growth. Excellent business is accomplished through providing opportunities to develop skills in their staff and empowering them to achieve success. The vision and ambition of every worker needs to be channeled appropriately to enable growth and work satisfaction.

When an employee is dedicated to their work, motivation is increased and health is improved. Generally speaking, productivity is increased when a positive environment has been established and in result absenteeism is reduced. Furthermore, the retention rate of staff is a reflection of culture and an indication of how growth is encouraged and professionalism cultivated.

As a result of my experiences, I have discovered four characteristics of great leaders and principals;

1. Relational

Great leaders relate well with staff. They visit classrooms and are interested in daily operations. Principals are aware of current teaching and learning trends and demonstrate quality teaching to model exceptional practice. They interact with staff in hallways, walkways, classrooms, playgrounds and cafe's and not limited to an office. They respond personally and in a timely manner to emails and messages. In addition, great leaders and principals fulfill the same duties and responsibility of staff.

2. Transparent

Good principals are transparent. The bravery of a leader to share strengths, weaknesses, shortfalls and encountered success demonstrate strength of character and humility. In result a sense of trust and connection is established and this creates the threads necessary for real teamwork. Great principals are involved in coaching and mentoring activities. The ability to receive guidance on their own behaviour and operations demonstrates a willingness to learn and grow. Otherwise the expectation for staff self-reflection is almost counter-productive, as all members of an organisation should be involved for an organisation to be progressive.

3. Laugh

Laughter and smiles are endearing. When joy is expressed and demonstrated, it provides encouragement and establishes harmonious atmosphere within the workplace. When happiness is found, stress is relieved and clouds of doubt disappear. When leaders take themselves seriously, business becomes business. When leaders laugh, smile and share their happiness, staff will reflect similar emotions and encounter work satisfaction, productivity and success.

4. Liberate

The Melbourne Declaration states that teachers must know their students and how they learn. If this is the case, Principals must know their staff and their skills. Leadership are to provide opportunity for employees to work in their areas of strength to fully allow an organisation to flourish. Principals must empower members of their staff to exercise their talent to develop professionalism, encounter work satisfaction as well as personal growth.

Thank you to those in my professional career that have been relational, transparent, laugh and have provided a sense of freedom. It is because of your quality leadership that I am who I am and who I am becoming.

Remember, Great leaders create new leaders. Weak leaders dismiss hope.


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