Keys to Effective School Leadership - Delegate and Prioritize

By: Admin 19 July, 2017

There is no doubt that being a school principal is difficult. Everyone who thinks otherwise does not know the job. There are hundreds of situations that have to be dealt with on a daily basis. Lots of paperwork to complete. Hearing requests and complaints that come in, queries that you need to handle, sudden circumstances that need immediate attention, making decisions both immediate and long term. All this a principal has to handle in a day, everyday of the week.

To manage multiple tasks effectively, principals engage in two extremely worthwhile activities that have high degrees of success - prioritization and delegation. If we cannot effectively prioritize time and energy, and if we cannot delegate certain tasks and decisions, then it becomes very difficult to manage things, after all we are all humans.

Delegation Strategies


A principal’s job is hectic and demanding, thus, delegation is a must. This is a strategy that many have used for generations to manage their work.

  1. Give Control

Recent studies have shown that it actually benefits everyone on campus if others are allowed to make decisions. Empower others, because if too much control is concentrated in one person, the school environment actually loses balance. Start by sharing small decisions that don't really matter. Let the others in the school community be more involved in the real decisions of the school. It has been proved that when teachers and other stakeholders are involved in the school development planning, they feel more responsible for carrying out the implementations effectively.



  1. Reject and Reconsider

Every time a staff asks you to do something, or asks a question, do not say that you will get back at it later. This creates a problem for you later as it adds on to your tasks. Now you have to think about the problem and make a follow up call regarding the same. Instead of this, you could revert back then itself by saying, “Why don’t you call the concerned person and get back to me with more details?” This response help you manage your time effectively and not add on to your task.


Effective Prioritization


When it comes to prioritization, make a slight shift in urgency. With student achievement, professional growth, and healthy development as cornerstones of professional work, the issue of prioritization is of utmost importance.


  1. Graph it out

Think of every decision you have to make and every task you have to complete on a 2-by-2 grid with Urgency on the x-axis and Importance on the y-axis. Make up four quadrants - high-importance, high-urgency (quadrant I); high-importance, low-urgency (quadrant II); low-importance, high-urgency (quadrant III); low-importance, low-urgency (quadrant IV). Divide your work according to these priorities, this will help you arrange your work.


  1. Identify what you can control

What can you control? Are you working to solve problems beyond your area of influence? Get back on track. Some characteristics of this profession are impossible to conquer. Instead, focus your time and energy on teaching skills, professional development, behavioral management, teacher motivation, parent communication, and community awareness.


Learn the art of delegation to empower others within the school community.

Prioritize your own activities so your time is well spent and benefits the greatest number of individuals.


This article has been inspired by and contains excerpts from Education World website. Read the original here.