Principal's Calendar Monthly Reflection: January

By PrinciPal Connection posted 12-28-2017 10:16

To help you keep a handle on what you are responsible for, a group of committed IPA members and staff created The Principal’s Calendar (available for IPA Members). The calendar is broken down by month. At the end of every month we will be sharing out the reflection you should be considering for the upcoming month. The reflections will center around attributes outlined in the School Leader Paradigm. The Principal's Calendar is sponsored by Stifel. 

This month's featured attribute is:
Responsible: Demonstrates the ownership of and takes the responsibility necessary for achieving desired results.

Associated Competency:
Operations and Management: Utilizes a variety of methods, tools, and principles oriented toward enabling efficient and effective operations and management.

Associated Intelligence:
Systems Intelligence: Individual understanding of the inter-workings and leadership of complex systems within an organization.

For Your Reflection

In Good to Great, Jim Collins (2001) describes a Level 5 Executive (or leader) as someone who “builds enduring greatness through a paradoxical blend of personal humility and professional will” (p. 20).  Furthermore, he explains how Level 5 leaders, while ambitious, hold themselves responsible first to the organization they lead rather than to their own self-interest.  To describe how Level 5 leaders assign credit and take responsibility, he uses the analogy of the window and the mirror.  According to Collins (2001), “Level 5 leaders look out of the window to apportion credit to factors outside of themselves when things go well (and if they cannot find a specific person or event to give credit to, they credit good luck).  At the same time, they look in the mirror to apportion responsibility, never blaming bad luck when things go poorly” (p. 35).

To Keep You Thinking

  • While it is perfectly acceptable (actually preferred) for you to be an ambitious leader, how do you ensure you are responsible to the organization you lead first rather than your own self-interests?
  • Reflect on the last initiative you led. How did it go?  Well?  Not so much?  How did you apportion credit or blame?  How did others in your organization react to how you apportioned credit or blame?  How could you do better in the future?
  • When holding someone responsible for his or her behavior, work, or results, how do you ensure this person is treated professionally and fairly?  As this person’s leader, how do you ensure you model and communicate your responsibility for this person’s success?