The responsible manager

Good school leaders share the same qualities as good managers.  They are as CK Prahalad says ‘custodians of society’s most powerful institutions’.

Reading Prahalad’s column in the Jan/Feb edition of Harvard Business Review, I was struck by the timelessness of Prahalad’s notes for managers (written in 1977) and St Ignatius Loyola’s principles for leaders (written in 1500s).

For Loyola – successful leaders:

  • cultivate self-awareness and seek to understanding one’s strengths and weaknesses
  • innovate and adapt to a changing world
  • engage others with a caring attitude and tapping into their potential
  • energise others by setting the bar high

For Prahalad – responsible managers:

  • are committed to their own learning and development
  • display humility, care and courage
  • are inclusive
  • realise the importance of loyalty
  • assume responsibility for outcomes as well as for processes and people
  • balance achievement with compassion and learning with understanding

What lessons can principals learn from good managers and vice versa?


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