The Principal's Principles

A Middle School Principal, striving to make the world a better place, one day at a time.

A Lesson From My Mentor: Set the target, then pursue the target

I’m fortunate to have a mentor who is now in his 40th year of his career, most of them spent as a building administrator. From my experiences talking with and observing him in his role, my biggest takeaway is:

Set targets, and then pursue those targets with laserlike focus.

My mentor took on a leadership role 4 years ago in a system that was large and suffered some disorganization. His first order of business was to get leaders and representatives from every building together to have a facilitator ask key questions, and to listen to the perspective of those in the room. Based on what he heard, and in his own direct way, he set clear targets for student achievement, finances, human resources, and community relations. Since that time, he devotes his working hours to achieving those objectives.

Note: This post is one in a series about key leadership lessons I have learned from my mentors. As I took time over the holidays to reflect on my work, the key relationships I have built and those who have made time to help me in my leadership journey were central to so much of what I do as a principal. My goal in publishing these lessons is to share my own reflections, celebrate my mentors (who will remain anonymous), and to encourage readers to thank their own mentors, or find new people to help them in their own professional journey. By no means am I a finished product, to those who mentor me, I thank you and ask that you continue to help me grow.


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