When we hear about inspirational leaders, the focus is usually on business owners and CEOs or those in the social sector.
However, one of the most important areas for leaders to motivate teams and create change is in education. After all, these people have a huge impact on the lives of impressionable young people, and can help children and young adults to become strong, independent, confident members of society.
Happily, take a look at the popular Ted.com website, as well as other blogs, podcasts, and books, and you’ll find many instances of teachers and other educators who are making a difference to people of many ages, and helping to lead the way in the sector.
If you’re thinking about studying one of the many great Ed.S programs online to learn how to succeed in educational leadership, or are looking for the right educators to teach your children, it’s important to know what makes the best leaders in the field. Read on for some top traits to be aware of.
Communication and Relationship Skills
One of the most important characteristics found in leading educators is the ability to communicate well with others. This includes not just students, but teachers, librarians, support staff, parents, potential board members, and other contacts. It is also beneficial for educators to be able to speak eloquently to the media, when needed.
Relationship building is also a key component of making educational facilities prosper, from the point of view of everyone involved, from students and teachers to parents and government bodies. In particular, developing strong and trusted relationships with students and staff members helps leaders to draw out the best in those who are learning and those who are teaching. Indeed, in order to lead a school or university team to success, and to encourage students to fulfil their potential, educators must also have the ability to inspire and persuade.
Resilience and Stamina
No matter what industry you’re in, when you’re a leader it takes a lot of resilience and stamina to “keep on keeping on” when times are challenging. This is particularly true of the education sector, where lives can be hugely affected by tactics and results.
In order to become a remarkable leader of an educational facility, it is important for people to know how to handle setbacks during their career, and how to bounce back on the hard days, or those times when things really don’t turn out as planned. No matter what type of educational organization is being led, and what age groups dealt with, leaders will typically find themselves facing at least some “failures” (or, rather, times of lack of success) where they need to stay strong and help support their team through difficulties.
At the end of the day, it’s important for leaders to keep going even when they may feel anxious, stressed, frustrated, angry, sad, hopeless, indignant, or otherwise down. Being resilient and possessing stamina will help them to pick themselves up, learn from the experience, and then move forward.
Another trait needed by leaders in the education field is focus. After all, there will always be many different tasks and people vying for attention, and only so many hours in a day that can be given to them. As such, it’s imperative that leaders find a way to be focused on the job, in order to concentrate on the right things each day, and to achieve goals.
When people have a laser-like focus at work, they can not only stay more organized and get more done each day, but also give themselves the ability to learn more, and become an expert in their field.
Focus also aids in:
- Avoiding distractions
- Planning properly for the future
- Noticing opportunities, trends, and potential threats and weaknesses
- Understanding the likely impacts of decisions made
Lastly, confidence is another characteristic found in the most successful and inspiring educational leaders. After all, if leaders don’t show that they are confident in their organization, in their team, and in the strategies they put in place, their various stakeholders won’t be likely to be engaged, interested, or invested either.
Being the confident leader of a school or university campus works well for a number of reasons. For example:
- It helps attract more student and parent interest
- It is more likely to lure in top candidates for teaching and other positions
- It makes a big difference to overall morale (since most team members typically take their cues from their leader)
- It helps leaders to stay the course when times are tough