Coaching & Leadership Development
Are You Trapped in the Sacrifice Syndrome?

Are You Trapped in the Sacrifice Syndrome?

  There’s no denying that you have to make some sacrifices when you’re in school leadership — it’s just part of the job. But what so often happens is that Heads fall into the “Sacrifice Syndrome”; the practice of giving everything of themselves to everyone else, until there’s nothing left.   A pattern of insanity   Of course, it doesn’t start out this way. It normally starts out as “just this once”. But “just this once” becomes “just this twice” and so on and so on until really crazy, unhealthy behaviour seems totally normal. That is, until you get a wake-up call.   It you’ve read “Staying A Head” then you’ll know mine came, when I decided to do a home visit at the end of one school day, even though I was already feeling frazzled and worn down.   The child in question I believed was a star in the making, his mother thought otherwise and within minutes of me entering their home she hurled a torrent of abuse at me. At that moment something inside of me cracked. On another day, at another time, when I wasn’t so tired, I may have found the inner resolve to stand my ground, but there and then words failed me.   I made my excuses and left abruptly. Within moments of entering my car, I cried and I cried, until I had no more tears left to cry. I was worn out, run down and felt an almost insurmountable sense of loneliness and isolation.   The Sacrifice Syndrome quiz   Heads usually have one of two reactions when I tell...