The Heroic School Leader

I spent the last few days at the ACEL National Conference and one presentation got under my skin.

Georgie Harman is the CEO of Beyond Blue … and she’s freaked me out a little bit.  In commencing her keynote, Georgie spoke to it being the way that School Leaders show up in crisis – and not what they do – that matters most.

I immediately conjured in my head a picture of a bulletproof Principal, impervious to stresses, pressures, absurd expectations fired at them from all corners and even lockdowns.

It was the wrong picture, but luckily Georgie set me straight.

She spoke to how she confided her own struggles with her team and how this vulnerability permissioned them to do the same.  She shared with them where that despair leads her and also what she must do to counteract a prevailing fatigue that can reach even our very cells.

That’s heroism in leadership for mine.  Pretending that we’re tough when we’re struggling, is not.

As a white, middle-aged male with several stereotypically white middle-aged male traits, this concept challenges my default mental pictures about how strength and heroism should be defined.

It got me to wondering about what else heroic leaders in schools should do in Term 4.  Where I landed is that they, with the energy and time they still have available, defend 2022.

The bin fire that 2021 has been has simply not earned the right to destroy your 2022.

Could your plan for Term 4 be that simple?  For the remainder of 2021 – just look after yourself and let your example be the inspiration for others to do the same.  And then just relentlessly protect the 2022 you all deserve.

Keep fighting that good fight,

PS. If you’re a School Leader who needs a chat about your 2022 plans, click here and let’s spend even 30-minutes together pointing you in the right direction.


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