The senior leadership adventure: an update

2014-05-29 08.59.38

It’s been a while since I posted about my new job.  Not that it’s new anymore as it’s June (how did that happen!?!) and I’m four and a smidge weeks away from completing the first year in leadership.  I last posted 40 days in.  This blog has also been quite quiet. So why the gap?  I’ve created a graphic:


Throughout my career so far, I’ve always spoken from experience.  No hypotheticals.  The number of posts will increase I’m sure and the advice I can give is useful, when I’ve made an impact and have become competent at my job.  This year has been about laying foundations, figuring out what’s going on and coming up with plans.  It’s a bit like a steam train: you have to stoke the fire for ages and ages, the locomotive struggles out of the station and then quickly gets up to speed.

My feelings over the year are summed up by this:


I hope you get the picture….. Leaving my last school was like stepping off a sleek bullet train.  I knew my place within the organisation.  People understood me and where I came from, even if they didn’t agree with me. Looking back, the last two years leading Priory Geography was epic.  I doubt that I’ll work within such a dynamic again.  However, I forgot something.  I forgot how difficult the first three years were.  I forgot how much work there was to be done and how much I didn’t look forward to going in to work.  If you don’t have your own blog, start one.  If only for the simple reason that you can look back and remember without the rose tinted specs.

I guess I was a little arrogant and delusional expecting to step off the bullet train to join a similar vehicle, travelling in a similar direction.  In fact, I had to jump onto a totally different space rocket, with different ambitions, purpose and vision.  It was necessary to reinvent and to start carving out and defining my role within a different context. No one was going to do that for me.  Nor should they. It’s been a year of testing, breaking and building back my values and principles.  When I look back on this year, i wonder what I will think?

  • At the end of my NQT year is a nightmare school, I look back and know that I can handle any behaviour;
  • The first year at another school was heart-breaking: students with no chance of doing well, staff morale an all time low.
  • When I left another school, I wondered if I’d ever do any cool stuff ever again. (I did)

This year I’ve learned to be comfortable in my own skin and with my own leadership style.  I work within a great school, forward looking and with a top leadership team.  I’ve made an impact, but no where near enough.  I’m impatient and it’s time to change the world.  I rediscovered the video below this week.  I’d forgotten that everything worth having requires a struggle. 

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