21st Century Managerial and Leadership Skills for Principals

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21st Century Managerial and Leadership Skills for Principals
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There are various managerial and leadership skills that Principals need to make a success of their work. These skills can be developed through training and hands-on work experience while rising through the ranks. It is very important in the 21st century that principals change their approaches to running their schools to line up with the changing times. This article will focus on some of these important managerial and leadership skills which they can adopt to maximize scarce resources and improve the level of productivity of both staff and students.

It is important to state that the challenges which schools in this era face are numerous. Some of these include: low remuneration for teachers, uncooperative attitude of parents, lack of funds, changing school curriculum and the speed at which technology is growing. These make it very necessary for principals to develop the requisite skills if they are to succeed in managing schools effectively.

Some of these skills are discussed below.

Managerial skills
1. They must create the right environment for staff and students
Principals play a key role in bringing about a conducive environment that would enable their teachers function effectively and help students learn faster and with greater ease. They must be able to develop the vision to create standards in the system of training in such a way that their students learn better and succeed academically. This can be done

by providing the necessary support to both teachers and students as this will help create the right environment for learning. Focus should also be on creating a healthy school environment which would enable staff and students interact with each other in a relaxed and friendly manner. The principal should also be able to ensure that parents and teachers have a good relationship which would help bring development to the school and improve the quality of education that the students receive. They have a great responsibility in ensuring that the teachers trust them and should stop at nothing in ensuring the safety of students and that academic work is carried out in a clean and hygienic environment. Emphasis should also be placed on the quality of teaching staff that are engaged in the school as this would impact on its growth and development.

2. They must be able to cultivate managerial skills in others
It is important for principals who are skilled in these areas to also identify and develop managerial skills among members of staff and even their students. They should put a system that will enable this to happen. Teachers and members of staff need to have good managerial skills and this would help the administration of the school and management of students much easier for the principal. They would also be able to manage time and the resources that are available to them. This skill if taught to them makes them more effective and productive. It also improves interpersonal relationships among staff members themselves.

3. Ability to manage people and other resources
Principals need managerial skills to be able to handle both staff and students in a manner that makes them more productive. They also need to be able to manage all available resources well.

Leadership skills
1. Ability to hire the right caliber of staff
Principals should be able to identify and select the right candidates as teachers in the school. It is a leadership skill to be able to bring in people with the right skills to contribute to the growth and development of students in the school.

2. Providing quality training for teachers and other staff members
A good leadership quality of principals is to put in place a system that enables teachers to receive adequate training and re-training as this will keep them up-to-date with developments in the teaching profession. Training

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is an important tool that can be used to achieve better learning for students so priority should be given to it. It would also be good if this is extended to other non academic members of staff. This would help improve their skills in administration and management which will increase productivity at work.

3. Evaluating the performance of teachers
The principal needs to develop a system that would help evaluate the performance of teaching staff. It should be regular and strict so as to get the best out of it. It is necessary to assess the impact the teaching style of a teacher is impacting on the students so as to determine what improvements or adjustments need to be made.

4. Developing a working PTA
It is also the responsibility of the principal and this shows great leadership, to establish and maintain functional Parents - Teachers Association for the school. This will enable both parents and teachers to work together for the good of the students. They should be able to sell the vision of the school to both sides so that they know what exactly is expected of them.

5. Principals must show exceptional leadership skills by maintaining a calm demeanor even when they are faced with difficult circumstances. They should be able to handle crisis well and learn not to panic in any situation. This is because other members of staff and the students look up to them for direction in times of crisis.

6. Another leadership skill that a principal should cultivate is the ability to stay focused on achieving their goals they have set for the school. They should know how to prioritize and learn to concentrate on the important things.

7. They must also have a clear purpose in all they do and this would enable them make the right decisions for the school. Clarity of purpose is very important for principals and prevents them from getting distracted from the things that matter most.

8. They should also learn to stay positive always as this helps to inspire both staff and students.

9. They should also show compassion and always empathize with others in difficult situations. It is a great leadership skill to encourage others when they are down.

10. Another great leadership quality that principals should strive to have is the need to maintain integrity in all situations. This will distinguish them in their career.

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