Fear of leadership

Whenever I tell anyone that I am a Principal, they look slightly in awe and fear..They always( 99%) say ” Wow, I don’t know how you do it…I could never do it..I would be scared…I couldn’t handle people…”
The job of the Principal (when advertised) is usually ignored, many principal jobs have to be re advertised. Contrast this with the teaching position that gets over 400 applications!
Why did I want to be a principal?
I always wanted to be a leader..well, maybe no, I always wanted to be a manager, the one in charge, if I am being honest with myself. This thought process was swiftly changed!
Over the last 4 years, having studied for my diploma in ed. management, devoured books on leadership and management and walking the walk of being a real principal, I have learned that I passionately want to be a leader..Not a manager, anyone can be a good manager, anyone can be organised or get things done.
The good leader is a difficult task. There is a long journey ahead!
I care about education, I care about how children learn and I care about the children that come to school at 4 and leave at 12. I love learning and I want the children in my care to leave with a passion for learning.
I think everyone has that fear, the fear of stepping up to the “battles” or the “conflicts” or the “hard times” when things don’t go right. What makes some one like me apply for the principal job and someone else not?
Courage.
I have the strength to overcome my fears because I can make a difference here. As a teacher, I could send ripples but within the hierarchical system that the educational system is placed in, it is a constant struggle.
I could not stand by and be a victim of the bad policies and decisions that our ” leaders” ( there is no way we could call them this)in Fianna Fail make as they make cut after cut in the primary classrooms.
We all can be leaders, we all can co-create the world as it is. Isn’t this a lovely thought for the members of a school and community?
We all can co-create the world as it is. Bit by bit.
What are you thoughts on this?
Would you apply and why/why not?
If you want to read and learn more about how you as a leader can make a difference in your present job( a teacher, SNA, principal), start here! Reference- The Leadership manual by Hilary Owen, Vicky Hodgson and Nicky Gazzard.

1 thought on “Fear of leadership”

  1. If you have thought about being a leader then you are one. This urge comes from wanting to make a difference and really is the only qualification necessary. Others will be grateful and will be happy to provide all the technical and day to day stuff but fear taking the step out front and the responsibility. You do no not fear nor will you shirk that responsibility but will embrace it.
    Remember that taking the step out front and leading can be a lonely and scary place but it is also the place of least competition and greatest space and is populated by others of similar mind who will support you.
    Take the step.

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Anseo.net Newsletter #11

The Anseo.net Newsletter features my thoughts on the Irish Primary Education System. Read the full newsletter here I was on the radio a few times

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