Leaders not managers, Managers are Leaders

I do not know about you, but the words leader and manager are confusing! I did not understand these different roles at all until I was involved with the Wallace Foundation. As a Principal, I had the opportunity to work with them on the SAM’s project (School Administrator Manager). https://www.wallacefoundation.org/principal-story/pages/sam-project.aspx

Managers are the key to the success of the day-to-day operations of your organization. These are the leaders who people are directly reporting to and need immediate help to complete tasks. They are detailed oriented and initiate strategies to solve problems.

Leaders are looking at the organization’s vision or “the big picture” to help move the organization forward. Solution-focused and embraces change. Motivates others, inspires, and builds trust for all to feel confident in following them.

Leaders and managers share many of the same characteristics. In addition, they also have the same goal. They both want the organization to be the best. What I learned from working with the SAM’s project is that you, as the leader need to give the manager duties to others to focus on the priorities. Because in education, the leader of the school is responsible for being both! It seems Principals can spend too much time being the manager instead of being the leader!

Develop a plan on who will be in the acting role as your SAM. It is important to check your contracts on how this can be done. We were able to hire a part-time position. It can be designed in many different ways. The link above will provide you with a wealth of information. The goal is to help you to reduce the amount of time on your calendar you spend on manger things to increase to improving teaching and learning.

  • Scheduling athletic events-(Secretary, Coach, Athletic Director)
  • Scheduling Parent activities-(Rotate grade levels)
  • Checking on building needs-(Department heads report needs to office secretary-Kitchen shortage, Buses late, Sub-Shortage-Building Grounds-bathroom out of order)
  • Try to take phone calls or meetings. People always want to talk to the Principal, but sometimes the issue can be solved in other ways
  • Protect your time. Making sure the instructional observations and time on your calendar is protected.

There are many other examples, ideas, and suggestions at the Wallace Foundation link above. Explore it for ideas and start with some small steps. Improving your time with teaching and learning will inspire everyone to work towards this goal.

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