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Dig a Little Deeper

November 3, 2018

This article recommends that Boards of Trustees consider more than just academic degrees and leadership experience when choosing a new Head of School or Superintendent.


Even the most qualified Head of School/Superintendent candidates in the country aren’t going to check every box on a Board of Trustees’ wish list; no one has every characteristic and quality of a perfect leader. In fact, every candidate you interview will have flaws, weaknesses, and Achilles’ heels.


I have had a number of Board Members ask me what the secret is to finding the “perfect” candidate. My answer is always the same: You’re not looking for “perfect.”  Instead, once you get past qualifications and experience (most Boards don’t, by the way), you’re looking for someone who ultimately agrees with you philosophically and fits into your school community culturally.

You’re also looking for someone who can organize and evaluate data; who can tolerate shades of gray; who is academically gifted but who can also make common-sense decisions quickly; who projects an aura of authority; who plans strategically; who recognizes talent and knows how to delegate; who seeks information from constituents but who is also intuitive about what needs to be done. 

Of course, you’re looking for someone who can do all of this and more, on a very high level, every day he or she is on the job. Most Boards simply don’t know how to vet these leadership dimensions, and that’s why executive turnover is so high. 

If your Board is embarking on a search for its next Head of School or Superintendent, Academy Educational Consulting can help. Dr. Blane Covert dedicated his doctoral research to Head of School/Superintendent turnover; now, he prepares School Boards for executive searches so that they can recruit and ultimately hire the right candidate. To learn more about how to make your next Head of School/Superintendent search a success, contact Academy today at 501-230-0881 or visit academyeducationalconsulting.com.



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