Best Practice

Calm leadership: Optimism during challenging times

At times as a school leader, optimism can be hard to find and yet an attitude of optimism is a key tenet of effective leadership. Patrick Cozier continues his series on how to be a calm school leader

“Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier. I am talking about a gung-ho attitude that says ‘we can change things here, we can achieve awesome goals, we can be the best’.”
American statesman Colin Powell


It was 2010 and I was in my fourth year of headship. My then school business manager popped his head into my office: “Patrick, have you got a few minutes? I need to tell you something.”

By the look on his face and his solemn tone, I knew it was not good news. I remember having that tight knot in the pit of my stomach. He proceeded to inform me that despite our previous calculations, he had done the maths again and was projecting a near £500,000 deficit. I did not see it coming. I was devastated.

Register now, read forever

Thank you for visiting SecEd and reading some of our content for professionals in secondary education. Register now for free to get unlimited access to all content.

What's included:

  • Unlimited access to news, best practice articles and podcast

  • New content and e-bulletins delivered straight to your inbox every Monday and Thursday


Already have an account? Sign in here

Related articles