How long do you have to be a principal before you are a truly confident leader? Ten years, twenty?
How about thirty-eight?
When Alison Spence, Principal of Kohia Terrace School applied for the Strategic Leadership for Principals Programme (SLPP), that’s how much experience she had.
And while she was confident in her ability to lead her school (and saw the results in operations, strategy and pedagogy), she couldn’t be 100 per cent sure.
She sought some comparative analysis – some ‘what if’ thinking, and someone to challenge her established way of doing things.
In Lindsay Cowley, Capacity Partner and GM at Spark, she found her perfect match.
Building the foundations of learning
Lindsay’s role was to give Alison fresh perspectives on leadership, supporting her learning process throughout the year long SLPP journey.
Meeting once per month in workshops, Lindsay began by asking Alison open questions centred around what she wanted how she wanted to change things.
“Alison had a good charter and strategic plan,” Lindsay notes, “but the story was missing.”
“So, throughout the year, we worked on what the strategic problems were. If this is her ambition for the school, what needs to happen to address these? Filling in the gaps between A and Z.”