Webinar Recap: Leading in Tough Times

As part of our National Principals Month events, NAESP held a webinar on leading in tough times. Hear how to manage budget shortfalls, address recruiting and retention challenges, and more.
October 2018, Volume 42, Issue 2

Times can be tough in schools and education, with budget shortfalls, recruitment and retention challenges, state and federal mandates, growing accountability and assessment requirements, and so much more. How can principals meet all the demands they are facing? That’s what Dr. Ray McNulty, president of Successful Practices Network, covers in this webinar about how to successfully face the storms of controversy in uncertain times.

You know the saying: We live in a VUCA world. Wait, what? OK, that’s not a saying, but it is a useful acronym that stands for volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous. McNulty notes that we’ve been conditioned to think the world is predictable, but he challenges us to consider a different mindset.

“Be very clear about where you’re going but very flexible about how you get there,” McNulty says. “Avoid certainty, but seek clarity.” How do you do that? Start with his seven leadership factors.

  1. Always have a clear vision against which judgments can be made, with agility to respond to rapidly changing situations.
  2. Build a culture of change. Learning organizations must always be ready to reflect and question the status quo.
  3. Be curious, and seize the chance to innovate. Uncertain times bring opportunities for bold moves.
  4. Encourage networks rather than hierarchies. Collaboration yields more than competition.
  5. Never lose focus on educator and student engagement. Allow groups the freedom they need to innovate new ideas, systems, and services.
  6. Get used to being uncomfortable. Resist the temptation to cling to outdated systems.
  7. Hierarchies often cripple decision-making. Success depends on distributed leadership.

Watch the full webinar or download the presentation for specific ways you can start implementing this process in your school

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