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Creating a Leadership Philosophy

Recently, I was asked by an aspiring assistant principal how to create a leadership philosophy and vision. On her journey into administration, she is preparing to be a strong instructional leader and wants it to show in her interviews. Having a leadership philosophy and vision PRIOR to landing your first AP job is a wonderful idea.

When you head into your interviews, knowing who you are as a leader will help drive your responses and give the interviewers an idea of who they are hiring. You want to show yourself in your interview through well thought out and relatable responses. This activity will give you insight on how to:

  1. Discover your leadership style

  2. Idealize those top attributes you value the most

  3. Envision yourself in your new position, imagining how people will see you as a leader (work backwards, what feeling do you want your stakeholders to receive from you?)

  4. Frame your thinking to create your statement

  5. Create your vision

Knowing who you are as a person and leader is key here. You can say you believe X, Y, Z, but is that how your stakeholders will perceive you? You have someone in your past that gave you one or both, great examples of leadership or horrible examples of leadership. How will those examples be applied as you become an administrator?

Here is a framework that helps you create your leadership philosophy...

I was then asked a follow up question that was excellent. "How do I articulate such a lengthy response in my interview when I am already nervous?" Oh yes!

Nerves can EASILY make your brain just shut off and you could simply

forget your own name. Been there! However, that is where practicing, practicing, practicing and more practicing comes in.

The more you read your statement, make adjustments, share with your friends and colleagues, the more this will be engrained in you.

Parts of this may be fluid, but ultimately, your philosophy is who you are as a leader. In your interview, you will be able to articulate the readers digest version because you believe it and you have practiced it.

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