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“A common question among new subject leaders is how can I make a difference across my whole team? So here are six things that new leaders can do.


The first is the Simon Sinek concept of starting with the ‘why’ by establishing with your team why you do what you do?! Why are we here? Why are we in education?

Help your team feel that they're part of something, more than just your subject. That they're part of something more important than just a project.

That they understand each and every day and just exactly why we do the things we do in education second.

What Brilliance Looks Like

Leading from the why is to establish a clear vision so every stakeholder knows what you are trying to achieve in your subject in your team.

The third, then, is to say, well what does brilliance look like? What does this look like as brilliant? John Maxwell has a brilliant quote which says, ‘The leader knows the way, goes the way and shows the way’ and we must consider as leaders that when we ask our team to engage in new systems or new ideas or new projects.

Shooting in the Dark

We must show them what excellence looks like otherwise sometimes people could be trying to shoot in the dark. What we need is people to be clear about what the end goal looks like. What does this look like as brilliant?

The fourth aspect, then, is to be crystal clear with your expectations and with the Department’s expectations.

What does your subject look like and what are the four or five crucial ingredients to help deliver your vision?

Flooding Your Team

Number five then is about inspiring your staff through inspirational training. Flooding your team and flooding your subject with great network opportunities, great training opportunities, great literature, excellent research resources and ideas so that the team is engulfed in brilliant new and enjoyable ideas and innovations.

Rushing Up the Stairs

And the sixth and final is the concept from David Ogilvy which is that people have got to have fun. Where people are not having fun, people seldom produce brilliant work.

So, help your team be the type of team that are rushing up the stairs to be part of your department, that they're rushing into school to come and see their colleagues and pupils.

As leaders, you can create that culture.

Make That Difference

So how can we make a difference across the department? Start with the why. Number two - have a very clear vision. Number three - show what brilliance looks like. Number four - have crystal clear expectations of what does your subject look like in your school. Number five - inspire your staff through brilliant training and networking opportunities and, number, six have fun."

You can check out all the other 'tracks' on our CPD Jukebox by clicking here.

Call us on +44(0)1267 211432 or email for a chat about working with Ian and for details on how to save money when you book.

About the author

Ian Taylor

Ian Taylor

Ian supports a number of schools across the country in a large MAT, focusing on curriculum and middle-management support and leadership. A maths specialist by trade, he has the ability to bring the best out of even the most hard-to-reach young people.

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