Flip the Script
The Journey to Finding an Instructional Leader
Innovative Instructional Leaders
I recently found out that my site would soon be looking for a new school leader and wondered what we would be looking for. After careful consideration and thinking about processes that are in place, I realized that this journey to find the right person might be harder than it seems. Especially if you are in search of an innovator.
In his blog post from 2014, George Couros describes the 8 Characteristics of the Innovative Leader. Here is what he prescribes:
Open Risk Taker
Focused on Relationships
So, I started wondering how you find such a leader. What kinds of questions do we ask people to find out if they are the right person for your team?
I started by googling typical questions asked principals during interviews. And I found them to be, well, not very innovative. Here are the most popular I found...
1. How would you describe your leadership style?
2. What are some ways you have dealt with challenges and what were the solutions?
3. How do you use data to promote student achievement?
4. How would you build a positive school climate?
5. How would you improve student achievement?
I suppose they aren't a bad start, but they certainly don't take much effort to answer. These questions won't give us insight about how a leader fosters and encourages innovation.
Flip the Script
So I asked around. Well, I sent out a tweet. But I sent it out to some of the innovative leaders in education that I respect (and want to be like when I grow up). If they had just ONE question to ask a prospective instructional school leader, what would it be? And here are the answers I received, in no particular order...
The Ultimate Interview?
Question 2 (Lisa Delapo, @LisaTeachesTech): HOW DO YOU KEEP MOTIVATED AND ENGAGED IN YOUR FIELD?
Question 3 (Bill Selak, @billselak): HOW DO YOU SHOW YOUR WORK?
Question 4 (Tim Goree, @timgoree): HOW DO YOU HELP EVERYONE AROUND YOU FOSTER A GROWTH MINDSET?
Question 5 (Jeff Kubiak, @jeffreykubiak): WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?
Question 6 (Steve Trotter, @PrincipalTrots): AS A SCHOOL LEADER, HOW DO YOU FOSTER A SCHOOL CULTURE ROOTED IN EMPOWERING PASSIONATE AND INNOVATIVE TEACHERS?
Question 7 (Colleen Hutchinson, @smile_more_): HOW DO YOU PLAN TO BUILD POSITIVE RELATIONSHIPS WITH ALL STAKEHOLDERS?