Perfection versus Excellence

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One of the pitfalls of being an educational leader is that we strive for perfection in everything that we do. I believe a great deal of this comes from the fact that we want to do our very best for the students and that they deserve the very best. This means that we will go to great lengths to ensure that everything is perfect in our school for all concerned.

We struggle to come to terms with falling short owing to the various struggles that leaders encounter everyday in our schools from external pressures to aligning teachers with school goals, from making sure that the needs of all students are met to providing the best communication to everyone in the school community.

The fact of the matter is that we cannot do everything perfectly. Having attended a Marzano Institute about Principal evaluation, it became blatantly obvious that we cannot be performing at the highest level in all the different leadership domains. Certainly, we can strive to do so, but it is simply not possible to master each one.

As we juggle all the demands of being a leader, we do need to make some difficult decisions. Sometimes, we have to compromise not being perfect in one area of our school in order to improve another.

At times, we must forget perfecting the things that we are already excellent at for the sake of improving an area that might be in need of repair. These are not easy choices to make but they are important nonetheless.

If we are lucky enough to surround ourselves with an excellent team, we may begin to get closer to perfection in some areas, but we can be sure that cannot do it alone. We will always have areas for improvement, this is what makes the job so interesting and challenging.

As long as we keep striving to develop the right habits, then excellence is certainly attainable but do not let perfect be the enemy of good.

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