Every leader’s Post COVID-19 Daily Checklist

At a time like this it’s very easy for the urgent to take precedence over the important. A recent survey of Principals conducted by Insight Plus demonstrated that the basic principles of leadership don’t change in a crisis, rather certain aspects of leadership assume greater importance. With this in mind, the following tips have been provided to ensure that the senior leaders in the school are focused on the real priorities everyday.

  1. Establish your own priorities for the day. With so much happening still, prepare a realistic ‘To Do’ List that has realistic provision for unscheduled interruptions. Attend to important tasks ahead of the urgent.
  2. Seek to live out your school’s core values. In times of instability, it is easy to cut corners, ignore policies and make decisions on the fly. Anchor all that you do to the school’s values. Demonstrate these in your attitude, your behaviour, your decisions and relationships.
  3. Let people know how their role contributes to the stability and sustainability of the school in a crisis. When dealing with change and disruptions people can lose sight of the bigger picture and the ultimate outcome. Remind people of what’s important and keep them focused on outcomes not just tasks. 
  4. Motivate staff. In difficult times it is too easy to move from a collaborative leadership style to a directive one. Continue to assign meaningful tasks to people and give them choices. Recognise and help people build their confidence and above all give them a sense of their progress.
  5. Acknowledge the contributions of staff over the past 12 weeks. Most of your staff will have extended themselves above and beyond expectations over the past 12 weeks. Remind yourself to commend them and offer your thanks. Show genuine appreciation.
  6. Make a point of asking at least one person who reports to you how they are doing. We are more conscious of mental health and wellbeing issues than ever before. Identify frustrations; fix them.
  7. Delegate. To develop younger staff who have exceeded your expectations during this period, assign at least one task on your ‘To Do’ list to them. This reduces your workload, but helps them develop and grow further in their role.
  8. Act decisively. In times like these, critical decisions can be delayed until ‘the time is right’. Make a decision on an issue you have been putting off. No decision is just as bad as a wrong decision.
  9. Be a safe leader. Despite all that is going on and the pressure you are under, be accessible and approachable. Encourage and welcome feedback on your own performance. Above all be trustworthy.
  10. Find time to relax, reflect and energise yourself. A leader has five responsibilities: to envision, engage, encourage, enable and to energise themselves. Consistently take time out to reflect, review, relax and re-charge your batteries.

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