STRIDES INTO A BETTER 2019

STRIDES INTO A BETTER 2019

The winding down of a year ushers in mixed feelings in many people. This is the time to reflect, review and recalibrate.

Are you ready for the New Year?

Are you ready for excitement and new challenges?

You may ask, “Why do a year review”?

There are many reasons to do one, main one being what is not measured, cannot be evaluated. And so we encourage all of us to take the time to do our year review so we can:

Identify our lessons for the year, Review what has happened this year, Regain focus and Start the New Year on a high note.

How can we go about doing this?  We need to use the following steps:

  • Write a list of the highlights of the year just ending. (Write all you can remember).
  • Write what did not go well.
  • Tie up all loose ends.
  • Determine the five big things you are going to focus on in the next year.

If your heart can conceive it, your life can receive it. It is possible. It is called vision. Vision is the destination of your preferred future.

  • What is your single biggest goal?
  • Take out time to rest.
  • Make plans for the next year. Write them down with timelines, deliverables, resources needed, potential obstacles and activities.
  • The following Reflection questions will also help you arrive at where you are now so you can have a realistic picture to build the future on.
  • What is the most important goal I achieved this year?
  • What skills did I acquire this year
  • What is the biggest mistake I made this year and what lessons have I learnt from it?
  • What obstacle/challenge did I overcome?
  • What is my best memory this year?
  • What is my biggest regret of the year?
  • What books did I read this year?
  • If I would change one thing this year, it would be —————————————–
  • One contribution I made in my community was ——————————————-
  • My biggest time waster this year was ——————————————————-
  • One sentence that would sum up the year is ——————————————-
  • If I could travel back to the beginning of the year, here is some advice I would give myself.

 

Three ways I developed myself were:

  1. —————————————–
  2. —————————————–
  3. —————————————–
  • How did I use technology this year to leverage my business?
  • What stopped me from achieving my goals?
  • Did I fully utilize my capabilities?

The questions can go on and on but these ones will help you arrive at a place of truth. As you then plan for the New Year after your thorough self cross – examination, plan using the following prompts into your new vision goals:

  • Build one habit.
  • Write one person you are going to befriend or reconnect with.
  • Buy one book you are going to read.
  • Write down one Personal Development goal you are going to achieve.
  • Write down one fear you are going to overcome.
  • Write down one risk you are going to take.
  • Write down five ways you are going to make money.
  1. —————————————–
  2. —————————————–
  3. —————————————–
  4. —————————————–
  5. —————————————–
  • Note one way you are going to stop wasting time.
  • Write down one skill you are going to learn.
  • Plan one way you are going to be de-stressing and have more fun.
  • Write down one way you will impact your generation.
  • How will you use technology in the New Year to leverage your activities?

 

It is time to unlearn old methods, relearn new methods, infuse new people or skills to adapt the new methods as Coach Sam Obafemi said in his new book “But what do I know

There is need for constant growth, we must not be stagnant. Each person must learn to think as thinking is the most difficult thing for many to do. We can do it, it is possible and 2019 just got exciting

Buy one book you are going to read THIS 2019

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Are You a Leader that Gets Results?

Are You a Leader that Gets Results?

What Kind of Leader are You?

We’ve determined that the more styles a leader exhibits, the better. Leaders who have mastered four or more—especially the authoritative, democratic, affiliative and coaching styles—garner the very best results. And the most effective leaders switch flexibly among the leadership styles as needed.
Very few leaders possess all six styles. In fact, the most common responses to these findings have been, “But I have only two of those!”
It’s important that a leader understand He/She can learn new styles. To do so, He/she must first understand which emotional intelligence competencies underlie the leadership styles He/she is lacking. She can then work to increase her aptitude for those.
For instance, an affiliative leader has a high capacity for empathy. Empathy—sensing how people are feeling—allows the affiliative leader to respond to employees in a way that aligns with that person’s emotions, thus building a bond.
So if you are a pacesetting leader who wants to use the affiliative style more often, be mindful of situations in which you lack empathy and hone your communication skills to improve your relationships.
Truly effective leader’s use these styles interchangeably, the right one at just the right time and in the right measure. Expand your repertoire and you’ll see: The payoff is in the results.

 

Authoritative

Authoritative leaders mobilize people toward a vision. When a nationwide fast food chain struggled with plummeting sales, its vice president of marketing turned the story around by rewriting the company’s mission statement to focus on customer convenience.
With a clear vision, local managers started acting like entrepreneurs, opening new, successful branches in ingenious locations: busy street corners, airports and hotel lobbies.
The research indicates that of the six leadership styles, the authoritative one is most effective. By framing the individual tasks within a grand vision, the authoritative leader defines standards that revolve around that vision. The standards for success are clear to all, as are the rewards.
The approach, however, can fail when a leader is working with a team of peers who are more experienced than he is. They may see the leader as pompous.

Coaching

A coaching leader helps employees identify their unique strengths and weaknesses, and ties them to their personal and career aspirations. These leaders are willing to put up with short-term failure if it furthers long-term learning.
Of the six styles, our research found that the coaching style is used least often. Many leaders told us they don’t have the time. But leaders who ignore this style are passing up a powerful tool; its impact on climate and performance are markedly positive.
By contrast, the coaching style makes little sense when employees are resistant to learning. And it fails if the leader lacks the expertise to help the employee along.

 

Affiliative

The affiliative leader strives to keep employees happy and to create harmony among them. The affiliative leader offers ample positive feedback, providing a sense of recognition and reward for work well done. 
But its exclusive focus on praise can allow poor performance to go uncorrected; employees may perceive that mediocrity is tolerated. And because affiliative leaders rarely offer constructive advice on how to improve, employees must figure out how to do so on their own. 
Perhaps that is why many affiliative leaders use this style in close conjunction with the authoritative style. Authoritative leaders state a vision, set standards and let people know how their work is furthering the group’s goals. Alternate that with the caring, nurturing approach of the affiliative leader and you have a potent combination.
 

Democratic

When a school administrator was told to shut down one of her schools due to a financial crisis, she immediately called a meeting of all the teachers and staff to discuss the details. After two months of meetings, it was clear to all: The school would have to close. But by permitting the school’s constituents to reach that decision collectively, she received none of the backlash that would have usually accompanied such a move. 
Spending time to achieve people’s buy-in allows a democratic leader to build trust, respect and commitment. And because they have a say in setting their goals, people operating in a democratic system tend to be very realistic about what can and cannot be accomplished.
One of this style’s more exasperating consequences can be endless meetings where the only visible result is scheduling more meetings. And the democratic style, of course, makes very little sense when employees are not informed enough to offer sound advice. 
 

Pacesetting

Pacesetting leaders expect excellence and self-direction. This is a style that should be used sparingly; many employees feel overwhelmed by the pacesetter’s demands for excellence and their morale drops. Work becomes too task-focused. 
As for rewards, the pacesetter either gives no feedback on how people are doing or jumps in to take over when she thinks they’re lagging. And if the leader should leave, people feel directionless. 
This approach only works well when employees are self-motivated, highly competent and need little direction. 
 

Coercive

Coercive leaders demand blind obedience, which can be damaging. Most high-performing workers seek the satisfaction of work well done, and the coercive style erodes such pride. The style also undermines one of the leader’s prime tools—motivating people by showing them how their job fits into a grand, shared mission. 
The coercive style should be used only with extreme caution and in the few situations when it is absolutely imperative, such as during a turnaround or with problem employees with whom all else has failed.

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Five Attributes of Successful Schools

Five Attributes of Successful Schools

Students across Nigeria need effective schools. While the Nigerian school system as a whole may be falling behind international standards, there are still some schools that stand out.

For sure, the context of schooling will impact attributes that contribute to effectiveness in specific schools but at the same time, there are attributes that contribute to effectiveness across schooling contexts. If we understand the attributes of effectiveness, we can observe which attributes exist at successful schools.

There are five common attributes that make up an effective school.

  1. Leadership

The first attribute is quality leadership. Students perform better when the Principal and School Board members provide strong leadership. Effective leaders are visible, can successfully convey the school’s goals and visions, collaborate with teachers to enhance their skills, and are involved in the discovery of and solutions to problems.

  1. High Expectations

The second attribute is having high expectations of students as well as teachers. High expectations of students have repeatedly been shown to have a positive impact on student performance even here at Ladela Schools. Students are somewhat dependent on the expectations placed on them during this period of their lives, as they are still shaping their personal sense of ability and esteem. Teachers who are expected to teach at high levels of effectiveness can reach the level of expectations, particularly when teacher evaluations and professional development are geared toward improving instructional quality. Chapter 4 and 5 of THE SCHOOL GUIDE covers effective ways to build expectations on students and staff, evaluation, student leadership, working with teaching staff, professional development of staff and more.

“Set high expectations for all students and staff and be sure they are well aware of the expectations” …….The School Guide. 

  1. Ongoing Evaluation

It is necessary that students be evaluated on a regular basis to observe several skill sets, knowledge, understanding and overall study progress as described in The School Guide (See page 41). The effectiveness of this practice cannot be over emphasized as this practice has shown great results here at Ladela Schools. There should be an ongoing screening of student performance and development. Schools should use assessment data to compare their students with others from across the country/region. Effective use of assessment data allows schools to identify problematic areas of learning at the classroom and school levels, so that teachers can generate solutions to address the problems.

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4. Goals and Direction

According to research, the successful School Principal actively constructs goals and then effectively communicates them to appropriate individuals (e.g., students, teachers, and the community at large). School Principals must also be open and willing to incorporate innovation into goals for school processes and practices. The School Guide cover Strategic Planning, Goals and more on ways to get started and being effective at it. So it’s important to invite input from all stakeholders in the process of developing school goals. Student performance has been shown to improve in schools where the entire school community works toward goals that are communicated and shared among all in the learning environment.

5. Secure and Organized

The final attribute of a successful school is the extent to which the school is secure and organized. For maximum learning to occur, students need to feel secure. Respect is a quality that is promoted and is a fundamental aspect of an effective and safe school. Successful schools also have a number of trained staff and programs and workers who work with difficult or troubled students before situations get out of hand.

Apart from the five attributes of a successful school already mentioned, the size of the school seems to be an attribute in the school’s effectiveness. Research has found that the smaller the school, the better students perform, especially in the case of older students. Students in smaller learning environments feel more connected to their peers and teachers, pass classes more often, and are more likely to go to transit successfully to university.

Additional attributes that influence effective schools include time to learn, teacher quality, and parental trust. Research supports the view that the more time a student spends learning, and the more efficiently that time is used, the higher their achievement. Schools that find creative ways to extend learning time will likely be more effective. Furthermore, schools with high-quality teachers also tend to be more effective. The School Guide covers extensively ways to get the right Staff/Teachers, working with teachers, professional development and setting up an effective performance management system.

Schools able to hire teachers from high-quality teacher education programs are more likely to be effective. But school effectiveness can also be influenced by the frequency, relevancy, and quality of the teacher professional development offered by the school or school district. Teachers who haven’t had the opportunity to attend prestigious teacher education colleges still have several opportunities to develop after embarking on their professional career. Support for these initiatives at a school tends to improve overall teacher quality, regardless of their university of origin.

Trust and parental participation are also features of a successful school. Trust between all parties of the school community is vital for enhancing the school’s effectiveness because it supports the prospect that parents and teachers believe in each other’s motives and actions. Parental participation is also important because it sends the message to students that the adults in their lives–both teachers and parents—believe in the importance of education and are willing to make time to support students’ educational experiences and efforts.

How well does your school embody the five attributes of a successful school?