Are you a fearleader or a cheerleader?
Cheerleader leaders don’t just tell, they show. They don’t shy away from rolling their sleeves up and giving demonstration lessons or CPD. They lead the team but they are player managers and get stuck in to foster an environment of communication and growth.
8. They raise the bar
Cheerleader leaders nudge and budge their staff towards greater success by moving the bar a few centimetres higher term by term. They focus their team on realising that the small things make a big difference. They accentuate the positives and eliminate the negatives.
9. They are strong
Cheerleader leaders are not big balls of fluff. They are sharp and sensitive and they know when to ‘clap’ and when to ‘snap’ and ‘slap’ to get the best results. If they need to push staff, they will take people out of their fear bubbles and comfort zones.
10. They are drones
Cheerleader leaders take a 360 view and can see the whole picture. They know where the gaps are and they know where the ‘fires’ are. They can help their staff move out of any tunnel vision and help them see new perspectives and navigate complex issues with fresh eyes.
11. They come clean
Cheerleader leaders will openly admit when they don’t know what to do. They don’t bluff or fake it. They are honest and transparent and expect their team to be the same and help each other plug any holes. They are full of dignity and fairness and know that everyday is a school day. They are humbly driven to learn the next thing.
12. They are absolutely clear
Cheerleader leaders don’t waffle. They get to the point and they get on with it. They say what they say, cut the crap and turn off the noise so teachers can focus. They bring clarity to situations and challenging circumstances.
13. They ask questions
Cheerleader leaders never stop asking questions and encourage their team to reciprocate. They challenge the status quo and do things differently. They innovate and aren’t afraid to try something new.
14. They are courageous
Cheerleader leaders put themselves out there. They make themselves visible and are courageous in meeting difficult challenges and adapting to new and developing situations.
15. They are reassuring
Cheerleader leaders are there for everyone and weave stability, hope, compassion and trust into the school community. Their presence is reassuring and they are role models for all and a living example of what everyone is trying to accomplish.
16. They are principled
Cheerleader leaders do the right thing even when no one is looking. They set the tone. They are open and honest and do the right thing for the right reasons. They actively promote and robustly support the ‘Seven Principles of Public Life’ or Nolan Principles: Selflessness, Integrity, Objectivity, Accountability, Openness, Honesty, Leadership.
17. They embrace failure
Cheerleader leaders see the opportunities that arise from ‘failure’ and use moments of miss as powerful teaching tools to go again and try again. They edit, tweak and make adjustments so that individuals and teams get up and get better.
18. They don’t do drama
Cheerleader leaders keep calm when they need to and steer their team away from catastrophic thinking or toxicity. They are vigilant of moaning and meltdowns and channel people in productive directions when they need to.
19. They expect
Cheerleader leaders have high expectations of their staff and for themselves. They hold themselves accountable and surround themselves with people who are accountable and maintain high standards. They expect great things.
20. They are realistic
Cheerleader leaders know that everyone and every team has its ups and downs and stressful days, but they don’t let anyone get dragged down. They are realistic but they take steps to stop the rot.
21. They mediate
Cheerleader leaders aren’t living cloud cuckoo land. They know people in their team will naturally argue with each other. They help people solve their differences but stay above the conflict without taking sides. They know when to step in and when not to.
22. They are approachable
Cheerleader leaders are friendly and approachable and make sure everyone knows that they are there for them. Their door is always open and they and treat everyone equally. They never let their ego get in the way.
23. They are optimistic
Cheerleader leaders don’t change their tone no matter what the situation. They are confident and positive because they know people will look to them for guidance. They never give up on anyone and they never give in. They are positive, upbeat, and spirited.
24. They are self-motivated
Cheerleader leaders have an inner cheerleader that keeps them on top and always pushing. They are self-reliant, energetic and self-disciplined.
25. They ignite
Cheerleader leaders are motivators and get everyone fired up. They are passionate about their school community and they get everyone on board and drive them to do the same. They care about each person’s success and the success of the school. They are a spirit raiser and actively promote and spread school pride throughout the year.
What cheerleader leaders do so well is act as multipliers. They attract and develop talent, and harness new ideas and energy to drive educational innovation.