Posts in understaffing
Communicate Clearly and Openly – Part IV of An E.P.I.C. Solution to Undertstaffing

In my previous post about understaffed leaders, we spoke of the importance of becoming more influential to maximize their impact and get the most from their teams. In this post, we focus on the “C” of “E.P.I.C.”, how to communicate more clearly and openly.

All leaders need to communicate clearly and openly. But strong communication is particularly important for those who lead understaffed teams. And great communication starts with great listening. In your conversations, focus mainly on listening rather than speaking. This will open up the communication lines and deepen trust.

You may think that you are communicating well. I did, too. But the only way to know for sure is to ask.

Start with this simple question: Overall, how would you rate my/our internal communication?

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Pull Your Team Together - Part II of An E.P.I.C. Solution to Undertstaffing

In our first E.P.I.C. post, we spoke of the importance of setting clear expectations (“E”) that empower leaders and their teams to be strategic, take initiative, innovate, and deliver desired results. In this post, we will focus on the second “E.P.I.C.” component, pulling your team together and connect them deeply to the mission (“P”).

You’ve seen it many times. The bickering. The lack of healthy communication. Folks sitting quietly at their desks, hoping to stay under the radar and not be burdened with more work, let alone someone else’s work. Other folks prioritizing their wants and needs over those of the team.

Territorialism. Silos.

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Using Clarity to Combat Understaffing - Part I of An E.P.I.C. Solution

When I began in July, 2010, as head of school of a 360-student, independent K-8, my administrative team and I simply did not have the manpower or the competitive advantage that so many other schools in our community enjoyed.

Staffing shortages were everywhere. We had no admissions director or marketing professional. There was no resource room, let alone anyone to staff it. Computers were formally taught only to our youngest grades, and by the librarian. Our athletics coaches were all volunteers. They even drove our kids to the games since we had no budget for bussing.

And then there was our administration. The three of us shouldered a myriad of responsibilities that extended well beyond conventional school leadership. Compounding the problem were the expectations from our board, who expected me to significantly raise the school’s academic standard after years of perceived complacency. Stress levels were high as we all tried to do more with less.

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