Exit interviews, inventory, transition sheets, data rosters, grade submissions, records updated, summative evaluations, last minute meetings, endless to do lists. These are important jobs that sometimes can be more overwhelming than fun.
No matter what the task is, THAT IS NOT THE MOST IMPORTANT JOB!!!
At the end of the year, leaders have one job that is so important but it is often overlooked. It is forgotten, or at least attended to IF the leader has time at the end of the year.
YOUR JOB IS TO INSTILL OPTIMISM ABOUT NEXT YEAR
No matter if an employee has been in your school for 1 year or 31 years, they all are anxious about what the future holds.
- What will be different?
- What will make the work more challenging?
- Will the work be easier next year?
The reality is that the end of the year is a challenge for every leader. It is stressful and at times downright overwhelming. There are not enough hours in the day to get it all done.
The cold hard truth is that the very best leaders NEVER fail to get people fired up about next year. While some . leaders are counting down the days, the best leaders are making the days count!!! (SEE HERE and HERE)
At the end of the year, you have one job to do, and that is to inspire excitement about next year. You must have conversations about how our organization can be more efficient and more effective next year. You are listening to frustrations about this year, and using that information to make your EXCELLENCE CHECKLIST and helping your teacher make their EXCELLENCE CHECKLIST even better than last year's list.
This means that in the midst of the craziness, fun, and endless tasks, we must MAKE TIME for conversation. We must MAKE TIME to elicit feedback, and we must MAKE TIME to ask our followers about their dreams and aspirations for next year.
The most important job of a leader is not merely an ordinary end of year task. It is an investment in your staff, in your students, and in the future of your school. It will pay huge dividends that far exceed the very best plan that you could ever create on your own, and the reason for that is simple.
Optimism is a leader's competitive advantage.