What is your leadership style?

Today I was reminded of a seminar I once attended by the Colourworks, mainly because their blog talked about;

Engaging Managers can come from any possible colour combination

It always seems sad to me to think that managers have always previously been managed and therefore presumably thought about how they would like to have been managed better, yet seemingly fail to learn from that experience. As soon as promoted, they seem to believe that they’ve got to change, to adopt more of a stereotypical “manager” style, to wear the mask of authority. Whilst there may be good reasons for this belief – it is stereotypical after all and some organisations promote and reward a “redder” style of leadership (e.g. quick, decisive, controlling, capable of making hard decisions and whip the department/team into shape) – it is, of course, a huge mistake. Not used to behaving in this way, these managers struggle to use this Fiery Red energy in a mature and positive way and soon lose the trust of their people, whilst simultaneously suppressing their natural leadership talents.

One thing Colourworks does very well is work out quite quickly what colour leader you are and those of your colleagues. At the time I attended the seminar my colour was sunny yellow, with a mix of green and red and a bottom colour of blue. On reflection I can now see that I had fallen into the trap above. Despite being a successful leader because my top colour didn’t come out as red I struggled internally to believe it. Even though I recognised everyone else as being the right colour for them i.e. the data manager came out cool blue, whilst the head fiery red and the pastoral manager green, it took me a month or so to see that I was just as integral a part of the team as everyone else and we needed all of the strengths including mine. It did make me then think of team building and the need for Senior leadership teams to be made up of different characteristics if they are to be successful.

So my message from today’s blog with the help of Colourworks is – be yourself after all that is who they hired, not you pretending to be a cool blue or fiery red as in the end you will all be disappointed.


Have a quick look which do you think you are?

Basic Timetabling for department heads

Timetables are always there to greet us at the start of the new term as teachers, but what happens when we get to be managers and need to do our own staffing timetables or indeed the whole schools timetable.  Ideally you should love puzzles and a little bit of maths. After this a sense of humour as it can take weeks to get a large schools timetable correct and then someone on the staff will say can you just change this for me without realising the repercussions on others as well as the time to reshuffle others around.

In Technology for instance each year group on a rotation timetable needs to go to each member of staff in turn to ensure they get their full curriculum quota.

Here is an example of one such set of groups year 7.  It is for a group of 5 classes labelled X1-5 for ease but you can easily put the class name in e.g. 7AB, 7EF, 7JF, 7DE and 7VG.

Each group must do food technology, graphics, electronics, control and resistant material projects.  There are 5 teachers needed to deliver it. here is a suggested approach to timetabling this rotation. The initials of the teachers are EF, NS, TG, AM and HC.

Group DateSept-Nov DateNov -Jan DateJan – Mar DateMar – May DateMay – Jul
X1 HCFood TGResistant Materials AMGraphics NSElectronics EFControl
X2 EFControl HCFood TGResistant Materials AMGraphics NSElectronics
X3 NSElectronics EFControl HCFood TGResistant Materials AMGraphics
X4 AMGraphics NSElectronics EFControl HCFood TGResistant Materials
X5 TGResistant Materials AMGraphics NSElectronics EFControl HCFood

This is quite simple as each is moving along but can be readjusted if the teacher stays with the class except for food lessons as a change of classroom is needed. See the timetable below. As you can see there are two different resistant materials projects for this particular rotation. But anything can be inserted e.g. History/English or other year groups and their projects including exam classes.

Group DateSept-Nov DateNov -Jan DateJan – Mar DateMar – May DateMay – Jul
X1 HCSafety




TGResistant Materials 1 TGGraphics TGResistant Materials 2
X2 EFSafety

Resistant Materials 1



EFGraphics EFResistant Materials 2 EFElectronics
X3 NSSafety


NSGraphics HCSafety


NCResistant Materials 1 NCResistant Materials 2
X4 AMGraphics AMElectronics AMResistant Materials 1 HCSafety


AMResistant Materials 2
X5 TGSafety Resistant Materials 1 TGElectronics TGResistant Materials 2 TGGraphics HCSafety