Role of a Leader in the Present Educational Scenario –My Experience

KANCHAN JOSHI\ Principal, Cygnus World School, Vadodara.
Kanchan Joshi is a postgraduate in Chemistry with a B,Ed and M.Ed. She possesses diverse experience in the field of education from being a teacher facilitator to Dean of Academics and then a Principal.
She has worked with reputed schools from both ICSE and CBSE boards and believes that everyday is a new day for a wonderful learning experience. She is currently the Principal of Cygnus World School, Vadodara.

‘Leadership is not about how many followers one has but about how many leaders one has created.’

In today’s educational scenario a leader needs to be a multi-faceted person who can handle everything. But time is limited and work never comes to an end. Then, how can one become a good leader under whose leadership an institution flourishes to greater heights? Well, I would like to put forth a couple of ideas that I feel can really work. Believe me, these are tried and tested and work wonders.
1. Identifying the Potential:
Each and every individual possesses something good in her or him. The leader needs to identify what is good in whom and give responsibilities accordingly. To identify the potential, one has to put in one's faith in the concerned individual. We cannot afford to fail, so regular follow up is extremely important. Never assign a job to one person. Try and build a team. If one falters, the other one will save the boat. In the process, you have developed either two or at least one efficient and capable potential candidate who can take charge of such an event or programme.
2. Genuine appreciation:
I also feel that a good leader inspires the people around him to take charge. People should willingly want to come to their workplace, not only for the salary they draw but because they enjoy what they are doing. But, it’s easy said than done. Each one of us longs for appreciation, a genuine one. Once the assigned job has been done as per the expectations or better, don’t forget to applaud and appreciate. If you are a true leader, be generous with genuine appreciation. Always applaud in public and reprimand in private. There may have been things that have gone wrong but these need to be addressed in private. This enables more volunteers for the next job at hand.
3. Call for Volunteers:
I always tell my staff members, ‘Good work means more work, More work means more learning and More learning means more growth.’ Those who want to grow need to work harder. Do not assign responsibilities. Keep it open to all. Let them, volunteer. Any new initiative coming up should be announced and volunteers who want to learn and take charge should be called for. After completion of the task, genuine appreciation of how it was delivered efficiently should be pointed out. The people who are appreciated feel that they have achieved something and others get motivated to take up more responsibilities. If they take up the responsibility, then they feel accountable for it and put in more than their hundred per cent to prove themselves.
4. Constant motivation:
Everyone looks forward to learn and grow. No one wants to fail.The leader shouldn’t feel that only he or she can do everything. That’s not true. All of us have our positives and negatives. We need to accept them and constantly empower them to enable them to become successful. Many of them possess exceptional talents. Once the talents are identified, the leader needs to create opportunities where others can explore their talent. Once the task is accomplished successfully, the institution benefits and the others feel that you have enabled him or her to discover his or her own capabilities. They would feel indebted to you for having given them such an amazing opportunity.
5. Be Full of Empathy:
All of us carry a baggage. Encourage and inspire all the staff members in each and every meeting. Always start with something positive about them. Make them realise that you highly appreciate the good work they put in and whatever the institution is, is because of their hard work. However, remember to cite examples that make them consciously feel that the appreciation is genuine. Also point out things that are not as per the expectations and where the school and staff need to put in more effort. Be specific and clear.
6. Always make notes:
We all are human beings and tend to forget. Making notes and looking at them in the morning and evening is an amazingly good habit. Develop it and encourage others to do the same.
7. Be patient and lend a listening ear to each one:
Respect your staff and make them feel that you will always stand by them if they are right. Whenever anyone is in trouble personally or professionally, always be available to give them the appropriate advice. Ensure that they feel secure talking to you about their personal as well as their professional issues.Give respect and get respect in return.
8. Be polite, unbiased and connected to each one of them:
Never speak rudely to any of your staff members, whether a class four employee or a teacher. Each one should be thanked on a daily basis for whatever little or big they are doing. Ensure that rules are followed to the core for everyone and no one feels that you have FAVOURITES. Stay connected to each one. Talk to each one during your rounds or whenever you get an opportunity. Talk to them about how well their kids are performing at school. Make them feel that you care for them.
If you are following all this, I am sure you are a GREAT LEADER who is a favourite of most of the staff. Accept the fact that you cannot be liked by all, so if most of your staff likes you, you are on the right track. Gather courage & conduct a survey to know how your staff feels about you. For the details of the survey, please contact me on
Always remember, ‘what you give is what you get back. This is the law of nature. Give to your staff what you want for yourself and the institution you work for will flourish and so will you!!’This is what leadership is for me!!!
This article was originally published in magazine in the month of February, 2019.