During my thirty plus years with educational leadership responsibilities, I had the opportunity to share work space, team projects, grant funded positions, and administrative roles. Typically, there is much enthusiasm during the first six weeks of the shared role. Sadly, the novelty soon wears off. Major adjustments must be made by the co-leaders to ensure ongoing success. Here are 10 tips for coordinating successful shared leadership and assignments:
- When sharing work space, discuss how the space should be organized and maintained. If sharing a classroom, agree on how to maintain bulletin boards, how to keep the classroom clean and organized, and how each of you will manage the filing of shared materials.
- When co-leading a team, confirm that all team members understand their program activities and goals.
- Verify that team members understand their role and how they can support each other to achieve a project’s success. All members must maintain a schedule of billable project hours, compile evaluation data, and maintain records of their expenses.
- Respect the individual differences of your leadership partners. Most team members strive to be congenial and collaborative in their partnership activities. Occasionally, a team member may become combative or competitive in their leadership style because they may want more control and might not agree with team members about the project activities. When power and turf wars become troublesome, strive to compromise with the team. If all become paralyzed in the process, enlist the support of an objective colleague outside of the team to facilitate a resolution to conflicts.
- Meet each week to review the status of project activities. Clarify how the team would like to receive project updates (i.e. verbally, on a spreadsheet, or through detailed notes.)
- Ensure that you have collaboration ingrained in the team that supports all program participants.
- Maintain contact with diverse team members to achieve success.
- When co-administrating funded grants, confirm with your team how you will prepare program status reports and financial updates to the funder.
- Create a program evaluation plan that supports project outcomes. Decide on who will prepare grant status reports and who will coordinate the assessment of program evaluation data.
- When sharing administrative chores, clarify how each team member will perform job. Will each leader work on different days and hours? When problems surface, how will they be resolved?
- Agree to disagree to resolve differences in administrative roles.
Happy co-shared leadership!