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What school principals can learn from CEOs: Podcast

School principals are often characterised by their leadership abilities, educational excellence and ability to meet government requirements through reporting of a range of data.

But, according to Eduinfluencers founder and managing director Rochelle Borton, adopting many practices of CEOs could improve the performance of principals, school leaders and, ultimately, students.

Eduinfluencers aims to equip principals and other school leaders with skills for the 21st century education sector. Borton firmly believes there are several CEO behaviours that can improve student outcomes and overall school culture.

“Principals and school leaders need to think like CEOs and be taught skills in HR, leadership, school planning and business strategy as it is a massive opportunity to save money and become more efficient,” Borton says.

During her podcast with Campus Review, Borton said the main aspect of principals thinking more like CEOs is building their capacity to have a clear vision, almost a “mandate”, and build their leadership teams. She says they should “know their teams intimately, including their strengths, behaviour types and histories".

In addition to building better teams, Borton encourages “robust conflict” between team leaders, as long as it’s performed in a respectful and constructive way, as well as frank and fearless assessment of leaders' strengths and weaknesses.

Finally, principals have traditionally been expected to know everything that’s happening around their school and be involved in many tasks. Borton discourages this, using a pithy quote to sum up a more CEO-like approach to being a principal: “If everything is important, then nothing is.”

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