What is exceptional school leadership really about?

Ladies and Gentlemen, dear guests

Welcome to Zug!

I am very happy to be here with you today and I am of course very proud, too, to stand in front of such a highly profiled and distinguished audience and having you all gathering here in Zug. Thank you so much!

Looking back to my own school days school management and school leadership haven't been much of an issue. Well, things have changed greatly since then.

Here, in the canton of Zug, structures and processes have been developed and established — mostly during the last ten years — in order to create the indispensable prerequisite and base for school leadership. And now, ten years later, with all the structures, processes and a lot of very good people in place and running we are able to focus more and more on the very heart of school leadership and to address the essential question: What's good school leadership — or let's raise the bar here a little bit: what is exceptional school leadership really about?

So, completely ignoring the fact that highlighting three points is the usual common ground in presentations and speeches I allow myself to address only two points regarding this fundamental question.

My first point: A school leader has to be a good human being. A woman who is willing to think her life and to live her thinking. A man who is willing to think his life and to live his thinking. In other words: a school leader has to be a philosopher.

And my second point: A school leader has to bring his teacher team and the expertise of his teacher team together — in order to discuss and to set the pedagogical goals — and to set them high. And she or he has to be a leader who  — once that the pedagogical goals are set — a leader who is able and willing to encourage, to demand and to deliver. In other words: a school leader has to be a pedagogical leader.

Ladies and gentlemen, I don't expect you to remember my two points just because I didn't highlight three points. I am under no illusions here. So, if you try to think back of what I've just said, don't try to remember the two points. Just think of Hogwart's famous Albus Dumbledore and you will always know what my idea of an outstanding school leader is.

I wish you all great success, exciting discussions and — of course — findings that will allow you to progress.
Thank you all so much.