The Balcony View of School Leadership… Get off the dance floor


 The Balcony View is not a new concept in leadership. It is well documented that the balcony allows leaders to observe and take a strategic overview of what is going on. 

The work of Heifetz. R and Linksy. M in their book Leadership on the Line encourage leaders to get on the balcony and adopt adaptive leadership.

The analogy of being on a dance floor, being part of the action makes it difficult for leaders to see who isn’t technically dancing or who is moving in the wrong direction. By getting on the balcony leaders afford them-self with time to reflect on the bigger picture. 

Leadership in schools is always active, it is busy and it is tiring. At times we don’t afford ourselves time to be fully reflective.

By sitting on the balcony, we have oversight of the situation, we can mobilize the right people in the right way to effect school improvement.

Taking time out away from the calls and the emails is what I felt our team needed. So I organised a leadership team day away. 

In my preparations for the day, it occurred to me what a privilege it is to have daily oversight of the school. To have the best view of all that is going on in school. 

Sometimes I’m too busy dancing and juggling in the midst of action to the appreciate it. I probably don’t withdraw enough. 

Reflecting on our day away, talking  through our current plans, reviewing what has taken place and thinking ahead to the future has reenergised the leadership team. It is good to stand with them on the balcony. 

It felt good to share the view.