Invisible Leadership

Vampires, haunted houses, witches, goblins, ghosts-oh my! Tis the season to ponder what truly exists or is perhaps a figment of our imagination. As I tune out the sounds of werewolves howling, I find one reality truly frightening. The power of effective school site leadership goes unnoticed, or is invisible.

Today, two hours were spent after school planning the next stage of new teacher support. Who sat with my colleague and myself? Our principal. Who continued to advocate for new teacher support that was aligned to district initiatives? Our principal. Who knows about her advocacy and commitment to new teachers? A few. Who can provide anecdotal evidence of her advocacy and commitment? A few more. Why? The answer is simple: ineffective leadership is well known, however effective leadership flies under the radar.

The majority of effective principals will never articulate their triumphs, or claim to be the reason for a school’s success. And yet, it is that “invisible” impact that makes the difference between a school culture that thrives or one that wilts. The “invisible” efforts, day in and day out, which a principal protects, promotes, and defends their school, ensures that teachers and students are successful.

Humility is a desired characteristic. Not acknowledging the power of effective leadership, is just plain dumb. I challenge each of you to share your “invisible” leadership stories with me. After you’ve shared them with me, share the stories with your colleagues, and your school community.

Hocus Pocus!


Daniela A. Robles

Daniela A. Robles

Phoenix, Arizona

I am a teacher and beginning my fourteenth year of teaching in Arizona’s public schools. The greatest lessons I learned were from teaching first grade for ten years. My inspirations stem from these past few years where my classroom has ranged from the Intervention Room to the Coaches’ Room.

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