Coaching & Leadership Development
How to Overcome Self-Doubt as a School Leader

How to Overcome Self-Doubt as a School Leader

    School leadership, whether you’re just starting out or even after many years in the role, can feel at times like you’re in the middle of a hurricane. You get so many things being thrown at you, new and old, and without a strong foundation of self-belief, that voice in your head can start to whisper…   “I’m terrible at this job. The old Head was so much better than me. Any day now they’re going to find me out.”   It’s enough to paralyse you! If you don’t actively work on trusting in your own abilities and eliminating self-doubt, it will have a huge impact on how you occupy your role — and it will rob you of the confidence you need to lead. So what can you do?   1. Look backwards.   It can sometimes feel impossible to keep a handle on the present, much less look at your past. But revisiting old victories can help you remember how you got to where you are now. So look back at your career to date and how you’ve moved through it. What were the defining moments, the times when you had to show courage and take risks? What can you learn from these moments; when did you show courage, resilience and optimism? Remember to consider these questions both in the context of your current role and in your life outside of it. You’re a person in a role, not the role itself, and you can often learn a lot about yourself by reflecting on how you show up both in and outside of the school leadership role.   2. Look...
The 5 Major Causes of Head Teacher Burnout (And How to Fix Them!)

The 5 Major Causes of Head Teacher Burnout (And How to Fix Them!)

  There’s no denying that school leadership is a difficult job.   With the pressures of Headship increasing all the time, is it any wonder that governors are finding it incredibly difficult to recruit new Heads and that schools may be facing a shortage of upto 19,000 School Leaders by 2022?   While there’s nothing you can do about the external pressures of Headship, you do have control over how you respond to them — and that’s what will save you from burnout.   But what are the major causes of Headteacher burnout and how can these be tackled before they begin to affect your ability to lead and inspire?   1. Bad habits   One thing that is so striking about Headship is how very easy it is to normalise really crazy behaviour. You work 60 hours one week thinking that it’s just a one off, until it’s 70 hours, and so on… So many Heads don’t even stop to eat during the day, much less go to the loo or do any of the things that we as humans need to do to be healthy, much less happy.   The fix: Look at your daily actions and see which ones are serving you and which ones aren’t. If there are some that aren’t, then choose one and take one tiny step towards fixing it today. Don’t worry about changing everything at once — start very small, you’ll have some powerful momentum going before you know it.   2. Ignoring your body   Head teachers are notoriously bad about ignoring themselves, often because they just don’t listen to their...
5 Ways to Rediscover the Joy in Your School Leadership Role

5 Ways to Rediscover the Joy in Your School Leadership Role

Tell me if this sounds familiar: you feel like you’ve been going through the motions for a while now. The joy in school leadership that you used to feel has been subsumed by endless operational details, paperwork, and the stress of caring for hundreds of people every single day. If that sounds familiar, you’re definitely not alone. Burnout is at epidemic levels among those in school leadership, and so many people think that unhappiness is just the nature of the job. But that’s where they’re wrong. It is absolutely possible to get that joy in school leadership again — but it won’t happen on its own. Think about it like this: you know you have to put petrol in your car if you want it to run. Similarly, you need to make a regular practice of “topping up” your self so that you don’t end up burned out and resentful. Here are some good ways to get started:   1. Get back to your big why.   It’s easy to lose sight of why you wanted to get into school leadership to begin with, but this is the anchor that will keep you going when times get tough. If it’s been a while since you thought about it, then make it a priority this week to set aside some time and think it through again. What are your values? What gives you energy and joy? Why did you want to do this job to begin with? Once you’ve done that, you can then take stock of where you are now and where there may be some gaps between the reality and your...