In a post some weeks back, I mentioned that “quality conversations between instructional leaders and teacher cannot occur unless the basic needs of teachers are met.”

Maslow was really onto something when he came up with his hierarchy of needs. Each employee that we work with has his or her own needs. Each employee comes to work from a different home, upbringing and a different skills-set. For each employee to be productive, leaders must set the pre-conditions for work. This starts with the role of the leader.

The leader is responsible for the culture that is established and creating the sense of belonging that makes employees want to give everything for their place of work. Of course, in education, the overriding mission of helping children can lead to many teachers doing great things in spite of poor leadership. Nonetheless, this happens in isolation more often than not, meaning that the school relies on individual teachers rather than the collective effort to drive student success.

I was fortunate to stumble across a great presentation from Simon Sinek, which seemed to connect these ideas together about what our first role as a good leader entails.