Taking up the Principalship Challenge

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Taking up the Principalship Challenge
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Taking up the Principalship Challenge

November 27, 2019

Taking up the Principalship Challenge

(Thoughts for new Principals by Bruce Campbell, CEO NCC Education Group)


The essentials of leadership have not changed significantly.   What has changed is the intensity of the work and the style of leadership that is required to meet the changes in our society.

Nevertheless, the essentials of good leadership and the core business of schools remain constant.   The Principal still needs a clear vision and purpose;  the ability to engage staff, parents and students and other stakeholders in that vision; and the skills to direct resources to achieving this vision.

Todays leaders have both challenges and opportunities to make meaningful and lasting differences in the lives of students.   The best teacher for your journey is the experiences that you will have along the way.

I will share with you some thoughts as I reflect on my 33 years of leadership in Christian Education.

  • A clear, articulated vision will energise you and your team, give you focus and direction.
    • Your vision will draw from your history, values, experiences, gifts and abilities
    • Always allow room for God’s influence to work in your vision.
  • The students should be our central focus for most of our decision processes.
    • What is in their best interests?
    • Are our programs and events student-focused?

I have received enormous satisfaction in seeing how young people grow, mature and develop through their school journey.

  • Developing relationship skills is the most critical skill you will need as a Principal.
    • You cannot achieve anything without establishing strong and effective relationships
    • There are many good courses available to assist in this area.
  • Fostering strong proactive relationships with your Board and especially the Board Chair, is essential.
    • The Principal must retain the confidence of the Directors by ensuring the Board are fully informed about matters (both good and bad) affecting the School.   The Principal’s report to the Board should be strategic, not newsworthy.
    • The Principal and the Board Chair should meet together on a regular basis for open and frank discussions as well as looking towards future projects and initiatives together.  Principals should request feedback from the Board Chair.
  • Develop and grow your relationship with the Lord.
    • I have always found strength and encouragement in the following quote from Charles Swindoll.

It is absolutely essential that those whom God appoints to places of leadership learn to breath comfortably in the thin air of the Himalayan heights, where God’s comfort and assurances come in the crushing silence of solitude.   Where man’s opinion is overshadowed.  Where faith replaces fear.”

To lead is to be an agent of positive change and to inspire and empower followers towards noble gains.

Bruce Campbell



For more articles on Christian Education, continue reading on our Associated Christian Schools blog.

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