Success is simply a matter of luck. Ask any failure.
In the article, "Building and Rebuilding Your Credibility" in the popular Exchange handbook, The Art of Leadership: Managing Early Childhood Organizations, I outlined what teachers expect of a center director:
- Staff expects you to be an expert. Staff respects a director who knows her stuff, who really understands how to deliver quality child care. Staff needs to know that if they have a problem they can turn to the director and know they will get the support and guidance they need.
- Staff expects you to know what's going on. The most frequently voiced complaint about bosses is that they are out of touch with what is happening on the floor. A director loses credibility when teachers perceive (whether correctly or not) that he doesn't understand (or care about) the day-to-day issues they face.
- Staff expects you to make good decisions. Most decisions a director makes involve a mix of financial, organizational, and tactical factors, factors that few staff are aware of. For staff to have confidence in their director, they must trust that she is balancing all these factors wisely and making decisions that are in the best interests of the organization.
- Staff expects you to listen. Nothing is more demotivating than to believe that others do not respect your judgment. Teachers need to believe that the director values their opinions and takes their input (whether requested or volunteered) seriously.
- Staff expects you to be fair. In order for staff to respect you, they need to be convinced that you will treat them fairly when it comes to scheduling, raises, discipline, and attention.
Two Options: Art of Leadership
Exchange's all-time bestseller, The Art of Leadership: Managing Early Childhood Organizations, serves as an invaluable guidebook for early childhood managers and textbook for early childhood instructors. The comprehensive guide, now available in both a print version and a CD version, includes contributions from the leading experts in the field on the following management areas...
- Getting organized
- Legal issues
- Financial management
- Personnel policies
- Recruiting and selecting staff
- Supervising and developing staff
- Evaluating your program
- Shaping your curriculum
- Working with parents
- Marketing your program
- Community outreach