Finding the Right Leader

John M. Mackenzie | March 23, 2020

“There has never been a more difficult time to lead a school.” This is a frequently heard refrain that grows more true with each passing year. While it is difficult to compare different eras in any endeavor, there are good reasons to acknowledge why the demands of independent school leadership now seem greater than ever. From different parts of the country the lists of contributing factors include similar themes: social media, the national political climate, post 9/11 parents, more competitive college admissions, changing demographics, results-oriented Boards, and, of course, a global pandemic. In this context, schools face the multiple challenges of finding the right Head of School, enabling her or him to succeed, and redefining school leadership as a shared responsibility, because this is a job that one person—even the most highly skilled person—can no longer do alone.

Good Boards of Trustees will ask, “How can we find the right Head of School and then support that person toward success?” Heads, those both experienced and new to the job, will ask, “How can I create a strong working team? How can I most successfully manage up as well as manage down?” We can help. Our Educators’ Collaborative partners understand the issues that most concern Boards as well as the tasks facing school heads and their senior administrative teams. We know how to get to the heart of these matters and have developed strategies to address them—not in a cookie-cutter fashion, but in a manner that best suits each school consistent with its mission.

“The EC Consultants I have worked with know me well, are open and honest, and
care deeply about finding the right fit for both the school and the candidate.”

Founded in 1971, Educators’ Collaborative is the oldest continuously operating firm providing consulting services to independent schools. Since our founding, we have conducted hundreds of head of school searches and a comparable number of senior administrative searches and provided consulting in other areas such as strategic planning, governance, and executive coaching. Our firm consists of twelve partners whose professional experiences have embraced a wide range of independent schools. Collectively and individually, our partners have witnessed the changing nature of the Head of School’s role, most directly through our own service as former heads.

Our motto at Educators’ Collaborative is, ‘Positioning schools for success through effective leadership.’ As you consider how best to lead your school during this time when such leadership may never have been more difficult, we hope you will not hesitate to learn more about us.

Interested in learning more about how we can help?