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: Put People First

One of my mentors retired after a very successful career as a building administrator and continues to work with a state organization. From my experiences working with her, my biggest takeaway is:

Care about the people before focusing on the policy

So often, in the pressure of a given workday, we lose sight of the fact that we lead people. My mentor never failed to think about the feelings, needs, and emotions of others. This focus never stopped her from the hard decisions she was faced with, or the need to sometimes deliver bad news. However, her belief in “people first,” gave her a perspective on how to best deliver tough news, and always reminded her to praise and support the good work people were doing.

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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