3 Ways to Help Move Your Boss Forward

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I had a great conversation with a friend of mine about how they felt under-appreciated and under-utilized in their work by their boss. When they asked me for suggestions on how to move their boss forward from their position, I decided to ask the following question on Twitter to see what other people would suggest:

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I am sure that there are TONS of suggestions that could have been made by educators who have done this very thing but may be much too nervous to share. The ideas that I am going to share from educators aren’t necessarily things they have done with THEIR bosses but are great ideas. Here are a few of my favourites:

1. Help them empower your strengths if they do not recognize it themselves.

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A straightforward idea but powerful. The quickest way to a destination is often a straight line. As an administrator, I would often say to my staff, “I can’t solve a problem I don’t know exists.” Similar to teachers, administrators don’t go out of their way to do a lousy job so sometimes leading them to what you need is what works best.

2. Model in yourself what you seek in your leader.

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To blame others for the inability to move forward might temporarily feel good, but it doesn’t make things better.  By focusing on how you lead, might not move your boss forward, but I guarantee it will resonate with others on your staff.

3. Show value in your boss.

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Listening, asking for advice, and showing a true value in your leader might help to build their confidence in a role that is often isolating.  The important thing here is being authentic and not simply asking to manipulate, but to recognize and value the strengths of your administrator, in the same way you would hope for them to do as well.


The above suggestions are fantastic, but I love this little reminder from Andy Cunningham that great leadership is great leadership, no matter your position:

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So what if these things don’t work? Here is a blunt reality that I was reminded of:

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I will be honest that one of the best things I did in my career was to leave a place. It wasn’t that I had a bad leader, but I needed a fresh start where I had the chance to rebuild myself as an educator and create a different path for myself. Obviously, this is not an option for all but sometimes we stick with things that we know don’t work because we are scared of the unknown, even when we know it is probably going to be so much better. Change is hard and sometimes a move can be the best thing for a career.  You can’t control the path of others, but you have the ability to create your own journey.  A fresh start can be the best thing for a career.

Thanks to an incredible group of educators that were willing to take the time to share their thoughts. I encourage you to look at the entire thread on Twitter.

Source: George Couros

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