Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Principalship - the next evolution in my leadership journey

Ako Panuku - First Time Tumuaki workshop - 'Manukura'

At the end of last year, I was successful in being appointed Principal of a fantastic rural primary school in Canterbury, starting in Term 1, 2017.  With my first term now under my belt, I have finally returned to my blog in order to be true to my desire to be open, honest and transparent with my personal learning journey and to share the ride with others, in the hope that it might help others out while also helping me make sense of my own growth and development.

Ako Panuku - First Time Tumuaki workshop - 'Manukura'

Day 1 of workshop 1 - Fierce Focus
Ko te kaupapa o tēnei rā tuatahi - Fierce Focus

Facilitators - Lynette Bradham and Keriana Tāwhiwhirangi

Leadership journey - sharing who we are and how we arrived here today, as first time principals

Care...collaboration...clarity - all working harmoniously together

Authentic leadership - don't compromise who you are.  Promote the type of leader you want to be, own it.

Share and declare: it keeps you accountable, once you share it you are opening the door for people to judge whether you are succeeding or not in being true to your leadership style.

To much compliance and not enough performance is tragic!

Appreciative inquiry works through 3 steps = A.A.A - Acknowledge, Apologise, Assurance

Q. What would people who meet you in your role as the school principal say about you?
Q. How do you know?

Know the effect and impact your leadership has on others.  Be the best that you can be!

Appraisal goals - its vital that we include a goal around developing/growing/strengthening your leadership knowledge and skills.  Many goals are focused on achieving a task e.g. show effective leadership to ensure we meet our annual targets.  If it's not in your goals - work it into the action in your plan, HOW are you going to lead it e.g. I will mentor the teachers who have the target groups of students by meeting with them fortnightly to listen, learn and challenge.

Silence = tolerance - if you see, hear or know that there is an issue e.g. poor leadership, governance, practice, relationships etc you must address it.  If no-one pulls it up, then you are giving permission for it to continue and grow.  M.Fullan - move towards the danger.  Courageous leadership means to identify and address the issues.

End of the day reflection...

Having the opportunity to come together with other first time Māori tumuaki/principals has been invaluable.  When some of us were asked to give 1 word that sums up our day I heard - safe, synergy and support.  Being with other principals with Māori connections, beliefs and experiences made this a safe environment to talk about our unique experiences as Māori leaders in our first principal role. Synergy came through in the ways we all talked about similar ways of working, how we were feeling, successes and challenges we have been faced with and how we are experiencing our new positions.  Support was given and received by all - we all empathised with each others stories and shared ideas and tips for helping us solve challenges we face, or being able to work smarter, not harder.

Click here if you want to know more about Manukura and Ako Panuku


  1. Kia ora Tamara for sharing your new journey. You sound so positive and it is wonderful to see Maori taking on leadership roles in schools. Kia Kaha

    1. Kia ora Chris, I really appreciate the time you took to read my post and leave such a supportive comment. Ngā mihi nui ki a koe!