I had to be ever present at every event, to be there every morning and evening to meet and greet every pupil and parent (at one school that involved crossing all children across a busy road from 8am every morning!) monitor every lesson, ensure the vision was adhered to and with the belief that the school would not survive without their knight in shining armour leading them into battle each day.
The reality is that good effective leadership allows the space for everyone to lead in their own area. Of course, there has to be a person who stands at the front both literally and metaphorically. Someone does have to take tough decisions to move schools forward and to be accountable for the pupils’ progress. However, how much better if every person in your team believes that they have leadership responsibilities. It is, of course, vital that the entire team buy into a single vision of the direction the school is taking. Once you have that, empower your team to conquer the world and move on together.
There are shared beliefs that each member of the team must hold dear: a deep mutual respect and appreciation of each other; a shared driven resolve and endless ambition for the school, the pupils and themselves personally and collectively; a real sense of modesty and humility to allow every member of the team to shine. Given all that leading the team is simply a matter of effectively communicating with each person and keeping a steady hand on the tiller as the winds of change blow across the bow!
So my advice to every head, young or old, gather that team together, develop the vision for improvement, keep the hand on the tiller but then trust your team to deliver. You can then really get yourself out and about in a creative way for your school and yourself. Keep yourself fresh, up to date and skilled for the ever-changing educational landscape we find ourselves in.
After all your PA probably knows about the running of a school than you do!