Great Principals Build Networks

The job is more important than the description, and school leaders need professional networks!


It's more than just to-do lists, meetings, memos, and walk-throughs. Great principals know this. You know this.

The job of a great principal is larger than the job description. That's why networks are crucial.

The networks you build, not just your own network, but also the networks you help others build, create influence. And influence is more powerful to effect change than policy, than union agreements, than legislation, and great ideas.

Influence is more powerful to effect change than policy, legislation, and great ideas.

Networks are not built overnight - they slowly grow like oak trees that last decades. They require careful attention and nurturing.

Professional networks are really about relationships. They are about people.

Networks begin with a deep-seated belief in the value of humans - a belief in goodness and diversity. Networks are not for political maneuvering. They are not for manipulation.

In a case study from ASCD, principals who developed networks found the following benefits:
  • They promoted learning among teachers.
  • They had more autonomy combined with healthy accountability.
  • They a deep commitment to common goals.
  • They experienced meaningful connections and trust in their work.
  • They coached and supported each other.
How do you build networks with other school leaders and educational thought leaders? How are you seeking connections outside of your locale? How do you nurture the network within your local school system?

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