One of a principal's most important roles is to nurture leadership skills among school staff by creating a school with a variety of leadership roles, opportunity for inquiry and reflection, and the chance to learn and develop new skills.
There are many ways to help others develop their leadership capacity. They include:
- Inviting them to work on a project outside their area of expertise;
- Asking them to help screen and interview new hires;
- Encouraging them to attend district meetings with you;
- Asking them to work with you to deal with a challenging parent or instruction issue;
- Inviting them to lead a book study group;
- Asking them to serve on the school leadership team;
- Asking them to serve as a mentor for a new teacher;
- Encouraging them to become a member of a professional organization;
- Asking them to present information to the staff after attending a conference or other professional development activity;
- Inviting them to maintain a journal and reflect on the "good," "bad," or "flawed" leaders they know and observe.
These ideas and others are discussed in Practical Suggestions for Developing Leadership Capacity (NASSP, 2009).
I'd enjoy hearing from you about how you work to expand the leadership capacity in your school. I'm always interested in practical ideas I can share with my students and other leaders with whom I work.