Difficult conversations

  You’re not learning anything unless you’re having the difficult conversations. Gwyneth Paltrow When it comes to tackling under-performance or inappropriate behaviour, there is a continuum, as shown in the diagram below. At one end of the spectrum are what I would call nudge conversations, where you gently raise an issue. Sometimes this is achieved […]

Why leaders and CPD should go together

In their fascinating article, Pim Pollen and Dr Ben Laker raise some interesting points as a result of what looks like an extensive international survey of teacher attitudes to their own development.  The conclusions cover a range of areas, including what teachers feel they are good at and need more help with, as well as […]

Building discretionary effort

What you do as a school leader makes a difference to the results you achieve, however you choose to define what you mean by results.  But the relationship between leadership and results isn’t direct.  As the diagram below suggests, the actions you take as a leader have a significant impact on the culture and climate […]

Six habits for success

Over the last year or so I have become increasingly convinced that leadership habits make a significant difference to the effectiveness of school leaders and their impact on pupil outcomes.  Every day I visit schools where I have privilege to reflect on what these leaders are up to on a routine basis.  This short blog, […]

The little things matter

I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles; but today it means getting along with people. Mahatma Gandhi Building and sustaining relationships is one of the most important elements of any leader’s role.  As the popular quote attributed to Peter Drucker says: “Culture eats strategy for breakfast’.  Translated for schools, you can have the greatest […]

Rome wasn’t built in a day

Whether it’s constructing a temple or creating a city, great things take time to develop. Architects and town planners know this.  So, when Dr Ben Laker and the team at the Centre for High Performance (CfHP) shared their research last year on what leaders do that create sustainably effective schools, it was great to see […]