Triangle believes that each generation of heads has a moral obligation to create new leaders. We know from experience that leadership is personal and not positional, and that refreshed leadership within an institution benefits the school as a whole.
Every year, Triangle runs an Aspiring Heads Leadership Institute that helps school leaders hone the skills needed to move into a head position. The Institute, which takes place under the aegis of NAIS, is based on a similar program that Triangle created over 13 years ago. The seminar takes place over the summer and is sponsored by NAIS as a professional development opportunity for school leaders. We believe that teaching leadership skills to an athletics or admission director will result in a more collaborative and effective administrator, even if that director segues to a position at another institution sometime in the future.
The Aspiring Heads Fellowship trains and mentors a select group of administrators over the course of a year, starting and ending at the NAIS conference and including a 5-day summer seminar. Although the fellows continue to work at their respective schools, the program allows each participant to work with others on an extended team project aimed at improving independent education as a whole. We have suggested that teams tackle teacher evaluation systems, develop programs that enhance learning across grade levels, and evaluate technologies for use in dialogue between teachers and students around the globe, to name just a few of the possible projects the teams will engage in.
Over 1,000 individuals have come through our NAIS sponsored leadership training programs. Many who go onto leadership positions circle back to us for executive coaching as they transition to their new roles. We remember fondly one rambunctious teacher who came to the Leadership Institute, years ago. He had arrived late, banging the door and making jokes to the room – as funny as he was, his need for attention was greater than his interactive or collaborative skill set. His boss had sent him to us in hopes that we could polish up the rough edges of a young man whose charisma and smarts evidenced clear leadership potential.
Since we met him years ago, this diamond in the rough has successfully served in several head positions. He regularly checks in with us and recently reminisced that our first program set him “on the pathway to learn to reign in my enthusiasm and leave space for others to lead”. Whether an administrator seeks a better fit for their personality or seeks to widen their experience to include the responsibilities of a head, our workshops can help fine-tune the personal and emotional factors that contribute to success.