Well, it’s about to begin.

Meeting Agenda – General Staff Meeting Aug 2011

QR Code Test


I recently came across a very good blog article that summarized many of the thoughts that I have had over the past year.


In this article, Dan Rockwell quotes Jim Quigley that “people want to be led”. I don’t know about you, but that rubs me the wrong way. It conjures up an image of mindless masses following some self-imposed leader. That’s not us. I don’t want that to ever be our style. However, the article underlines the need for the leadership imperative. As principals, coordinators, and managers, you are leaders. People look to you (and to me) for guidance and direction. I will let you in on a little secret – that scares me.

Who am I to tell people how to improve their teaching? Who am I to challenge a teacher to move from being good to being great? Who am I to point mistake that staff make and then challenge them to fix them (instead of fixing it myself)? I am content to sit in my captain’s chair and send emails, write policies and handbooks, and lead meetings. But I am reluctant to really challenge people. I think our people want more and deserve more. If you don’t give them feedback, who will? If we don’t challenge them to be engaging and effective, who will? If we don’t lead our staff to improve the finer details of the organization, who will?

All the people on my team have been chosen for this year’s role because I believe that they have this capacity in them. I believe that they are passionate about students, education, and our organization. I believe that they have the clarity of vision to see what it is going to take for us to become a world-class school. I believe they have the initiative and the personality to help our people achieve greater purpose and effectiveness this year.
Let us constantly challenge each other to push the boundaries of our leadership comfort. To move beyond the reluctant leader.

See blog at Proximal Development – Konrad Glogowski


If tree falls in the forest, and nobody is there to hear, does it make a sound?
Well, we can certainly reword that for today’s organizations.
If a decision is made, and nobody knows about it, does it make any difference?
Right now there are two policies on my desk that are in this exact quagmire. A decision has been made. The policy has been drafted. The procedures are in place. But nothing has changed. It’s missing the next step.
Follow through has always been a bit of a pain in the ass for me. I love creating but implementing is another story. Or I will do the initial implementation but I fail to do the complete follow up.
Peter Drucker makes this clear in his book The Effective Executive:
A decision has not been made until people know:
– the name of the person accountable for carrying it out;
– the deadline;
– the names of the people who will be affected by the decision and
– the names of the people who have to be informed of the decision, even if they are not directly affected by it.

A stack of cards.
10 minutes every day.
A world of difference.
I’ll start and see who will follow.

We don’t need another program and system. Just some basic modeling. Like the ‘We not ME’ axiom, it also works for both those that receive the Thank You as well as the the sender. It reinforces the good things.

Here’s something to get you thinking. Scott Mcleod had a blog on his site, Dangerously Irrelevant, that brought this to my attention. On Scott’s site, you will find multiple formats of Karl Fisch‘s presentation, “Did You Know“. If you watch this short presentation (just over 6 minutes), you can’t help but wonder about the role of learning and the current state of education.

Ok, just found out that I can’t upload video directly. So, to watch the video, pop over to Scott’s site and use up his bandwidth then come on back because I’d really like to hear your comments. Click here to choose your video format.


Principal as Managers

Dealing with Conflict

Crafting Culture

Having Fun

You Are Not Smart Enough, Efficient Enough, Good Enough – Building a Team and Delegating

Achieving Big Dreams

Leadership that Matters

Technology Tools

Managing Your Email

O3s – One on Ones

The Walk Through


Handheld Helpfuls

When Teachers Don’t Perform

The Teacher Bully


The Shot Across the Bow

Feedback Model


Mission, Organization, Team, Individual

Managing Agreements and Not People

Welcome to Principal Thoughts. Being a principal can be the most rewarding role in education. However, being an effective principal is not automatic. I don’t know how you became a principal, some of us fell into the position while some actively pursued it. Either way, I think we all agree that being a prinicpal involves a lot more than we ever expected. Are we leaders? Teachers? Managers?

This blog will examine what it means to be a principal and discuss ways that we can be better principals. I hope that through this exploration, we can all become better at this unique career of being a pricipal.

Twitter Updates



Howard Stribbell is the Head of Schools at The International School of Macao.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 10 other followers