You don’t need a title to lead
You don’t need a title to lead
You don’t need a title to lead
Michael Iannini CIS Affiliated Consultant


By Michael Iannini



International schools have set very ambitious goals for this year. From plans to expand their student body and boost academic results to increasing diversity in hiring practices and providing more rigorous professional development opportunities—schools of every type and size are determined to make major improvements this year. 

So, how can you align your professional growth agenda with your school’s development objectives? How, by scratching their back, can you satisfy your itch? 

Here are just a few examples of the huge ambitions many international schools have for 2023-24, which you can leverage for your growth prospects:

1. Expanding student bodies

Schools are not exempt from competitive forces within their markets and the laws governing them, especially when their underpinning resources, budgets, are tightly tied to student enrolment and the public perception of the quality of the school's services.

2. Improving academic performance outcomes

International schools have a laundry list of projects that were interrupted by the pandemic in addition to the number of things they learned from the pandemic. 

3. Creating professional development opportunities 

Schools are keen to offer more diversified and comprehensive professional development opportunities for teachers and staff, such as instructional coaching, workshops, and mentorship programs.

International schools have many goals but often lack the leadership to bring them to fruition. Too often, it can seem daunting for individual teachers and staff members to take ownership of these big ideas—but you don't need a title to lead!

Every person has unique talents that can be used to make a positive impact on their school. Whether it be liaising with parents or developing workshops about differentiated learning, schools have a wealth of human resources they need to tap into.

Schools must empower more middle leaders to take ownership of larger, more ambitious goals that require greater collaboration.

Leadership does not need to come from individual roles—it can be cultivated in groups and amongst teachers and staff. By creating an environment where everyone is encouraged to share their ideas and insights, schools can build a stronger sense of collaboration and trust that encourages staff to take greater ownership of important initiatives and projects. It will help ensure that school goals are meaningfully achieved and that everyone is contributing to the success of the school's mission.

With strong middle leadership, international schools can create an environment where ambition is encouraged and innovation is celebrated. By empowering more people with responsibility for owning school goals, the ambitions numbered above, as well as many more, can be realized in 2023 and beyond. 

As we look ahead to the opportunities and possibilities of 2023-24, we must remember that the best way to develop leaders is to empower promising talent with opportunities to lead. By creating an environment where everyone can be part of driving change and ambition, international schools have a chance to make real progress this year.

Here's to making it a wonderful and successful 2023-24!


Michael Iannini, co-founder of Peer Sphere, is a CIS Affiliated Consultant, recognized as an expert in Governance, Strategic Planning, Human Resource Management and Leadership Development. He is also author of Hidden in Plain Sight: Realizing the Full Potential of Middle Leaders. You can learn more about Michael and how to develop Middle Leaders by visiting his website 


Related content:

  • Other blogs by Michael Iannini:

Transitions care when educators move between teams and schools

Middle level leaders: Give your team the break they deserve

Why does your board need a health check?

You don’t need a title to lead
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You don’t need a title to lead