Connect. Collaborate. Risk. Innovate.

Connect. Collaborate. Risk. Innovate.

Friday, 20 November 2015

The Goldilocks Zone of Leadership

The "Goldilocks Zone" refers to a habitable area of space in which planets can conceivably support liquid water, a key ingredient for life. It is the optimal proximity to a star- neither too close, nor too far. It's just right.

Similarly, the challenge of leadership requires us to find that same optimal zone. Effective, innovative leaders must work to create that "just right" environment in which staff and students feel supported and inspired to be their best selves, to take risks and to explore new opportunities. My ongoing challenge is to determine that "just right" level of support. Too much can leave staff and students feeling overwhelmed and undervalued. Too little can lead to stagnation and disengagement.

I'd like to say that I've discovered the perfect balance, that just right zone. But leadership is not a perfect science. There's no exact measurement, no fail safe formula that can be applied to a vibrant and dynamic school community. Because a school community is comprised of a myriad of complex and variable elements, the most essential and the most complex of which is the human element. 

Fortunately, I'm not alone on this journey to find this "Goldilocks Zone"- the place that provides optimal conditions for learning, innovation and growth. I have help. I can continue to rely on the advice and support of my mentors. I can reflect on the open and honest feedback of my colleagues. And I can listen carefully to voices of my students. The key ingredients...
Not too much.
Not too little.
Just right.


  1. Great post - those key ingredients are so important when balancing supporting vs enabling as well! Hoping to find "right balance" someday!!

    1. Thanks Ian! :) The challenge is that as soon as we've found some kind of "balance", something else shifts... Constant process of reevaluating & adjusting. Humbling, yet so rewarding!