with Professor Pocock

4th in a series of 8 Basic Tools for Effective Communication . . . Topic: leader bios

What makes a great leader bio?

How effectively do you promote the leadership in your school district?  More than likely these are very talented individuals who either are…or could be…pillars in the community.  One of the responsibilities of we communicators share is positioning and promoting our leaders.  How effectively are you doing that?

That’s why this week’s post in our series of 8 basic tools for effective communications is leader bios.  Even if you currently have profiles of your administrators, the summer is an optimal time to refresh and update them.

A good leader bio is vastly different from a resume.  Rather than simply listing the individual’s credentials, the leader bio humanizes the administrator and provides background information that endears this professional to your key audiences.

If you currently have some leader bios, pull them out.  If not, get a blank sheet of paper and a pencil.  Now edit or write a bio by asking these three questions:

Does this leader bio build the individual’s credentials?  This is best achieved by focusing on results, not responsibilities.  Don’t waste time telling me about how many people she supervisors but rather the results she’s achieve in improving the quality of staff, the breadth of the after school activities or the depth of the curriculum.

Does this leader bio humanize the leader?  This is best achieved by writing stories.  What are some fun and entertaining professional stories that showcase your leader in the best light possible?  The story must be true and have like an Aesop Fable end with a moral.  Reinforce the image of your leader in a flattering and measurable manner.

Does this leader bio promote a vision?  As a rule of thumb, good communications spend less than 20% of the time on the past and more than 80% of the time talking about the future.  What have you written in this bio that positions the individual as a forward thinking, action oriented visionary?

Now in reality, your leader bio must also include the basics that a reporter wants to know when writing a story about the individuals who lead your district.  The easier you make it for the person writing that story, the greater your chances of seeing your district promoted.

 photos by chez sugi and wickenden